It is our hope that you, the parents, will look upon Student Counseling as a positive support for your son or daughter. Much like Student Health services, we exist to help ease your son or daughter's pain. Unlike the health center, we don't only deal with "sick" students.
The normal developing college age person has a heavy burden imposed on them in this stage of their life. They are asked to choose a career, be on the lookout for that special partner, separate from their parents and learn to live on their own, make new friends, perform well over and over again on tests and often earn enough money to make college enrollment possible.
Our primary role in this office is to support them in succeeding well in these life tasks. To this end we bring seminars to the entire student body, as well as individual classes, on such topics as stress and time management, relationships, and choosing a career.
Of course, there are times when the pressures get to students and they may feel the need for personal counseling. At such times we enter into a strictly confidential arrangement with the student and are unable to disclose any information to anyone unless we have the express written permission of the student. This is really a good thing because it often relaxes the student and allows them to explore very personal issues.
The therapist and student will work together to determine what possible treatment plan options are best suited for their needs. Referrals to specialists are made whenever necessary; typically, when this is called for, the student is encouraged to bring his/her parents into the total therapy situation.
Our philosophy of helping strongly emphasizes the need for a strong support system. We view your support as a key element in encouraging your son or daughter to get the most out of college life and/or to bring them through the trouble times. Should you ever wish to call a counselor and discuss any issue of concern related to your son or daughter's well-being, please do so.
Contact one of our staff for further questions.
In the course of teaching and/or working with students it is not uncommon that you may arrive at a point in your teacher/student relationship in which you are helping the student make decisions of a personal nature. This is, as it should be, the master passing on wisdom to the young and inexperienced.
Occasionally, you may be presented with students whose problems are beyond your expertise. Because unqualified advice can often be harmful, it is best to acknowledge your lack of expertise in these matters and encourage the student to seek help through Student Counseling services. Contact one of our staff for further questions.
If you are worried about a student and need some ideas on what to do, please call Student Counseling. Very often the "solution" is just a step away. Frequently, what is a novel situation to you, has been presented to the counselor before and he/she will have a helpful suggestion or two.
Some Signs a Student May Need to be referred
Cognitive: Consistent inability to make sense
Frequent erroneous conclusions, often negative and exaggerated
Inability to make decisions
Focus of conversations frequently shifts from work-related to personal issues
Uncharacteristic poor work
Emotional: Easily angered, possible outbursts
"Clinging" to you
Behavioral: Significant change in weight and/or personal hygiene
Frequent sleeping in class
Fearful fidgeting (always or just at test time or when called upon)
Making a Referral
In referring a student to Student Counseling services, you might first suggest that they seek help. You may say literally, "May I make a suggestion?" If the student continues the self-disclosure and is amenable, the following suggested response may be fitting:. "I hear what you're saying and I am here for you but, the best advice I can give you is to contact Student Counseling." A counselor is trained to help people in this kind of situation."
If the student is hesitant then you can suggest making the appointment together while in your office or even walk the student over to the reception area in Student Counseling. Once the initial hurdle of meeting the counselor is over, the student usually settles down and begins to find some relief.
In the case of an emergency such as the expression of suicidal or homicidal thoughts; severe loss of emotional control; gross impairment in thinking ability or any bizarre behavior, contact Student Counseling services. After normal business hours call UNG Public Safety (University Police) at (706) 864-1500.
An effective way to deal proactively with student concerns is to invite a counselor to your class for a short seminar. Any topic related to mental health college life is possible. Frequently, this office has done seminars on stress management, anger management, conflict skills, healthy relationships, and the like.