The role of the Counseling Center at UWB is to provide mental health related services to facilitate students’ adjustment to college and their personal and psychological growth in becoming high functioning and socially responsible adults. The Counseling Center promotes student learning about their emotional and psychological development and increase academic success by positively impacting academic and personal decision-making. Our staff work to help students resolve problems that interfere with personal, social, and academic functioning while also emphasizing prevention, development, adjustment, and wellness.
The UWB Counseling Center offers short-term counseling free of charge to students.
In order to be in compliance with Washington State Law and to insure a safe environment for students to explore their personal concerns, all counseling services are confidential. This means that our staff will not reveal the identity of students who seek our services, will not confirm or deny a student’s participation in counseling, and will not provide any details about what has been discussed in counseling without the student’s written consent. We do not give information to parents or to other offices or departments within the university without a student’s written consent.
At that same time, the UWB Counseling Center staff wants to create a collaborative relationship with parents. We encourage parents to call the UWB Counseling Center staff to discuss any concerns they have about their student. The counselor will discuss all options available with the parent and mutually decide the best course of action to support their student.
Identifying Potential Student Problems
Parents often have the most direct contact with students and thus may be the first to notice any changes. In order to facilitate early identification of difficulties, listed below are some possible warning signs which may suggest that a student is in need of assistance.
- a change in appearance (e.g., poor hygiene, weight gain/loss)
- a drop in GPA or academic performance from the previous quarter, especially for students who generally perform above average
- increased irritability or agitation
- consistently inappropriate, illogical, or unrelated questions
- distracted or preoccupied thought processes
- withdrawal from social interactions with peers, family, and significant others
- expressions of loneliness
- frequent class absences
- fearful responses, such as avoidance or apprehension about being alone
- occurrence of a recent loss or other crisis (e.g., relationship breakup, death of a friend or family member, academic failure, physical illness, rape/sexual assault)
- expressions of hopelessness (statements such as “there’s no use trying” or “what’s the point?”)
- indirect statements or written essays about death or suicide (“I want to disappear,” “there’s no way out” or “I can’t go on”) as well as more direct suicidal statements (“I’ve had thoughts about hurting myself”)
The appearance of any of the above warning signs may indicate that a student is in distress. If any of these signs are observed, especially on a repeated basis within a short period of time (2 to 3 weeks), it is important to talk with your son or daughter and refer him/her to Counseling Center for assistance.
When Needing Consultation with a Counseling Center Mental Health Counselor
Parents and family members may consult with our staff if they believe a student is in distress and they are uncertain about how to help. If you have concerns about a student’s emotional functioning or behavior, including alcohol use, anxiety, depression, aggression, unusual behavior, or overall psychological well-being, we encourage you to speak with a professional staff member from the Counseling Center. To consult with a Counseling Center mental health counselor, call our office at 425.352.3183.
Websites and Books of Interest to Parents
The Transition Year – Emotional Health at College is an online resource aimed at helping to ensure the smooth, safe and healthy transition of teenagers from high school to college. Specific sections designed for parents and students. A great resource for incoming students, freshman students, and parents.
Information to increase parents’ awareness of college student’s emotional health, mental health destigmatization, and suicide prevention.
Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
By Daniel J. Siegel (2014). Between the ages of 12 and 24, the brain changes in important, and oftentimes maddening, ways. It's no wonder that many parents approach their child's adolescence with fear and trepidation. According to renowned neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel, however, if parents and teens can work together to form a deeper understanding of the brain science behind all the tumult, they will be able to turn conflict into connection and form a deeper understanding of one another. In "Brainstorm," Siegel illuminates how brain development impacts teenagers' behavior and relationships. Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, he explores exciting ways in which understanding how the teenage brain functions can help parents make what is in fact an incredibly positive period of growth, change, and experimentation in their children's lives less lonely and distressing on both sides of the generational divide. A great read for parents and educators.
When will my Grown up Kid Grow Up? Loving and Understanding your Emerging Adult
By Jeffrey Arnett and Elizabeth Fishell (2013). Most people would agree the road to adulthood is longer than it has ever been before, by any measure. Young people stay in school longer, live at home longer, marry later, become parents later and find their first job later. In fact, the transition to adulthood lasts so long Jeff Arnett proposed that it constitutes a new life stage between adolescence and young adulthood, called "emerging adulthood," lasting from age 18 to 29. Many parents may find themselves puzzled and dismayed at how long their kids are taking to become adults, though. This parent friendly book provides an overview of these changes along with useful suggestions on how to successfully interact with your emerging adult.
The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting from Senior to College Life
by Laura Kastner and Jennifer Fugett Wyatt (2002)
Launching a child from home is second only to childbirth in its impact on a family. Parents can end up reeling with the empty-nest blues, while teens find their powers of self-reliance stretched to the breaking point. During the time of upheaval that begins senior year of high school with the nerve-wracking college application process and continues into the first year of life away from home, The Launching Years is a trusted resource for keeping every member of the family sane. From weathering the emotional onslaught of impending separation to effectively parenting from afar, from avoiding the slump of “senioritis” to handling the newfound independence and the experimentation with alcohol and sexuality that college often involves, The Launching Years provides both parents and teens with well-written, down-to-earth advice for staying on an even keel throughout this exciting, discomforting, and challenging time.