For Parents


Frequently Asked Questions

When might counseling services be needed?

  • A sudden drop in academic performance, especially for students who generally perform well
  • Difficulty sleeping or getting out of bed nearly every day
  • Feeling sad or appearing tearful nearly every day
  • Social isolation or increased lethargy
  • Expressions of hopelessness, e.g., “What’s the point of trying?”
  • Direct or indirect statements about death or suicide, e.g., “What’s the point of living?” or “I wish I were dead”
  • Avoidance of certain places or situations, or fear of being alone
  • Increased irritability or restlessness
  • Paranoid thinking or incoherent speech
  • Consistent troubling or dangerous behaviors

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How do I refer my daughter/son to your services?

Encourage your daughter/son to call us between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm (Monday through Friday) to schedule a brief phone consultation.  This 10-15 minute discussion helps us direct the student to appropriate resources.  It is in this phone meeting, that students will have the opportunity to schedule an in-person appointment.  Students who are om crisis when they call or walk in will be seen as soon as possible, usually that same day.

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Is it possible for the counselor to update me on what my daughter/son talks about in counseling?

Not without the student’s written consent. Federal and state laws require that counseling conversations and records remain strictly confidential.

Knowing that your son/daughter is in counseling, but not knowing anything about the content of those sessions, can sometimes be challenging for concerned parents. However, it is important to understand that confidentiality is an essential element of the counseling process, as it creates a safe environment for students to discuss their personal concerns openly and honestly. Finding a way to open up a dialogue about their concerns might be very beneficial to your son/daughter as well.

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What should I do if my daughter/son is reluctant to seek counseling?

While counseling is a personal decision, sometimes it can be helpful to encourage a student to talk to a counselor about his or her concerns. It is important to remember that it’s ultimately the student’s decision to seek help, but the following strategies might help persuade an ambivalent student to consider counseling:

  • Inform your daughter/son that information shared during counseling is confidential to the extent permitted by state law and will not be disclosed without written permission.
  • Remind your daughter/son that she or he can meet with a counselor for one session without committing to ongoing counseling.
  • Reduce the stigma associated with counseling. Tell your daughter/son that our counseling services are regularly used by many students for a variety of concerns and that utilizing counseling services reflects good use of one’s resources. Just as it is common to visit a doctor when one has a medical problem, there should be no shame in meeting with a counselor to discuss a personal issue or concern.

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Will counseling become part of my son’s/daughter’s academic record?

No. Our records are confidential and are entirely separate from students’ academic records.

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Is my child obligated to continue counseling if they seek services?

No. They are not obligated in any way to continue.

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Does counseling cost money at the University of Maine?

Our psychological services are provided free of charge to University of Maine students. Our psychiatric services are available for a fee, though the fee is generally less than community psychiatric services.

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