The Counseling Center at UWB provides mental health-related services to help students get used to college and grow to be well-adjusted, socially responsible adults. We can help them learn about their emotional and psychological development, increase their academic success by improving your personal decision-making, and resolve problems that could interfere with personal, social, and academic functioning. We emphasize prevention, development, adjustment, and wellness. We offer short-term counseling free of charge to currently-enrolled 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 the 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 or submit a CARE Team report to discuss any concerns they have about a student. A counselor can discuss all options available with the parent and mutually decide the best course of action to support their student.
We work to create a collaborative relationship with parents. Call the Counseling Center to discuss any concerns you have about your UWB student(s). A counselor will discuss available options available with you and collaborate to find the best plan.
Noticing Potential Student Problems
Parents often have the most direct contact with students. That’s why you might be the first to notice any changes and can facilitate early identification of difficulties. Here are some possible warning signs that may suggest a student needs assistance:
- Changes in appearance because of things like poor hygiene and significant unintended weight gain or 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
- Avoidance or apprehension about being alone or other fearful responses.
- Difficulty dealing with a recent loss or other crisis—relationship breakup, death of a friend or family member, academic failure, physical illness, or rape/sexual assault are some examples.
- Expressions of hopelessness such as “there’s no use trying” or “what’s the point?”
- Indirect statements 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”) , including creative outlets like essays, poetry, or art.
These warning signs might indicate that a student is in distress. If you see these, especially on a repeated basis within a short period of time (2 to 3 weeks), talk with your students and encourage them to call or go to the Counseling Center. We can help.
Need to Consult a Mental-Health Counselor?
We encourage parents and family members to 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 your UWB student’s emotions and 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. Call our office at 425-352-3183.
Safety on Campus
If you are concerned about the safety of your child on campus, please contact Campus Safety at 425-352-5359, or visit their webpage.
Websites and Books for Parents
Set to Go 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. This great resource for incoming students, freshman students, and parents provides information to increase parents’ awareness of college student’s emotional health, mental health de-stigmatization, and suicide prevention.
Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
By Daniel J. Siegel (2014). From Dr. Siegel’s website: “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.”
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.”
“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.”