As a student, you may find yourself concerned with the behavior, emotional concerns or demeanor of a friend. Many students talk with a counselor at the Center for Counseling and Student Development because they want some ideas about how to be helpful to another person. If a consultation meeting with a counselor would be helpful to you, feel free to call for an appointment (302-831-2141).
In the meantime, remember:
- Listening to and putting yourself in the shoes of the friend about whom you are concerned can help him or her feel understood and cared about.
- If you want to explain to a friend why you are concerned, be as specific as you can. Being direct is also advisable; attempting to deceive or trick someone into getting help is unwise.
- Change often happens in stages. When you encourage a friend to go to counseling, you plant a seed for change that may not take hold right away. If you feel that getting someone to help is essential, you may consult with a mental health professional at the Center for Counseling and Student Development (302-831-2141). If the situation is urgent, refer to Emergency Options.
Why might counseling be suggested to a student?
People seek counseling for many reasons, ranging from a wish to solve a long-standing problem to a desire to enhance their personal growth. To address the personal, educational and career concerns of the students, the Center offers both group and individual counseling. Students come in to discuss issues such as: roommate conflicts, anxiety and stress management, depression, eating disorders, career choices, and family concerns such as divorce and alcoholism. Students may also receive psychiatric services if medication is considered essential to the treatment of their concerns.
Here are some of the common instances when counseling might be recommended to a student:
- Fundamental or traumatic changes in personal relationships — such as death of a family member or friend, divorce or separation in the family, pregnancy, etc.
- Significant changes in mood or behavior — such as withdrawal from others, asocial activity (e.g., lying, stealing) spells of unexplained crying or outbursts of anger, or unusual agitation.
- References to suicide — since it is difficult to distinguish between serious threats or passing idle thoughts of suicide, judgment about the seriousness of a situation is best made in consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist.
- Anxiety and depression — these are two of the more common symptoms which can significantly impair a student’s functioning.
- Psychosomatic symptoms — concerns such as tension headaches, loss of appetite or excessive eating, insomnia or excessive sleeping or chronic stomach distress, etc.
- Alcohol and drug abuse — evidence of excessive drinking, drug abuse or drug dependence is almost always indicative of psychological problems.
- Career choice concerns — often these concerns reflect the student’s struggle to understand him/herself and the world of work. Sometimes it reflects a problem with decision-making in general.
- Concern about academics — such as contemplating dropping out of school, worrying about possible academic failure, or considering a transfer to another school.