Resources for Parents

If your child is talking about hurting or killing him/herself or others, please help your child get help immediately.
  • Weber Human Services: 801-625-3700
  • Davis Behavioral Health: 801-773-7060
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE

If you believe your child is in immediate danger to her/himself or others, call Campus Police or 911, or take your child to the nearest emergency room.

A mental health crisis worker will assess your child and determine the most appropriate level of care.

Crisis Resources

As a parent of a Weber State student, you are experiencing an important transition in both of your lives. While watching your son or daughter learn and grow can be very exciting, it can also generate feelings and raise questions that are important to address. The following information should be helpful to you.

What kinds of changes can I expect to see in my child as they acclimate to college?

New Roles

When your child transitions to college, he or she is likely to try on new roles in an attempt to become more independent. Your child may want your help one day and reject it the next. This may be frustrating, as it is hard for you to know what to expect. Try to provide steady emotional support so your child knows you are there when needed. Respect that your child is trying to make good decisions, and be available for whatever level of support or guidance they seek from you.

Independent Decision Making

Your child may want to make decisions or solve problems in ways that are different than what you suggest. This can be hard for parents who want the best for their children and believe they know what’s best. It can be very difficult to step back as if you were not invested in their success, because you are. Share your concerns, and also confirm your awareness that as emerging adults, they are responsible for solving their own problems. You can act as a coach or guide, but remember that your child may not always take your advice. Ask what kind of support your child needs, and trust what is requested.

Increased Responsibility

College requires that students take responsibility for themselves. They must manage their own challenges, including monitoring their own academic tasks, handling their own finances, navigating their own relationships, taking care of their own health and wellness, and making big decisions regarding their major and intended career. If these responsibilities are fairly new for your child, they may feel overwhelming. Balance your support with encouragement, and trust that your child can navigate these transitions and emerge successfully. Try not to engage in excessive “rescuing” along the way.

Enhanced Exposure

Your child will be exposed to a host of new people, perspectives, cultures, ideas, and experiences in college. Students are expected to “broaden their horizons” and learn in ways that stretch them beyond their comfort zones. They do not have to internalize beliefs or value systems different from their own, but they must respect them and demonstrate civility as they learn and grow. This exposure can be at once freeing and stressful.

Adjustment Difficulties

Students sometimes have difficulty adapting to the new environment and expectations of college. They may struggle with their academic requirements, with their interpersonal relationships, and even with their own mental health. They don’t have to struggle alone. Multiple resources are available on campus to assist students in their adjustment to college. Many of these departments are part of Student Access & Success. Familiarize yourself with these services so that you can refer your child to seek help appropriately. Be encouraging and supportive, and openly express how much you believe in their ability to succeed.

How can I support my child through these changes?

Make sure your child knows you are available to listen, provide support, and offer guidance as desired. Try to avoid judgment and excessive advice-giving. Be patient as your child experiments with new ways of being, even if you disagree with some of his/her choices. Seek to understand your child throughout this learning and growing process. Be aware of signs that your child may be experiencing significant emotional distress or a potential mental health problem.

What potential signs of distress should I be aware of?

Students can experience emotional distress for a variety of reasons. Many students are able to get through stressful times on their own without significant impact on their emotional or behavioral functioning. Some students, however, have more difficulty coping with distressing situations and/or struggle with mental illnesses. In such cases, you may see some of the following symptoms:

  • Academic concerns such as:
    • Uncharacteristically poor work
    • Dropping grades
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Excessive absences
  • Interpersonal concerns such as:
    • Difficulty getting along with others
    • Isolation from family and friends
    • Extreme defensiveness
  • Behavioral concerns such as:
    • Changes in personal hygiene
    • Fatigue
    • Irritability, agitation, or restlessness
    • Inappropriate responses and/or disjointed thoughts
    • Intense, dramatic, or volatile emotion
    • Anhedonia: Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
    • Physical harm to self
    • Verbal or written references to distress, including suicidal/homicidal thoughts or plans

You likely know your child better than almost anyone else. If you notice behavior that is unusual for him or her, and if you feel concerned about these changes, trust your gut. Talk openly and supportively with your child and refer them to seek counseling.

Common Questions Parents Have about Counseling Services