For Parents

Student Handbook

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 student to your services?

Encourage your student to call us between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm (Monday through Friday) to schedule an initial consultation! They can also explore our website to better understand our services and take a glimpse at our counselors.

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Is it possible for the counselor to update me on what my student 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 student 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 student 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 student that information shared during counseling is confidential to the extent permitted by state law and will not be disclosed without written permission.
  • Remind your student 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 student that our counseling services are used for a  variety of concerns and that utilizing counseling services reflects good use of one’s resources.

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Will counseling become part of my student’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.

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