Why might individual or group therapy be recommended to a student?

Individuals 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 CCSD offers a variety of services. 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: death of a family member or friend, divorce or separation in the family, pregnancy, etc.
  • Significant changes in mood or behavior: 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.
  • Social justice or discrimination concerns: challenges related to sense of belonging, differential treatment, feeling invalidated, feeling unsafe physically or emotionally, or experiencing or witnessing hostility directed toward oneself or others.
  • Career choice concerns: often these concerns reflect the student’s struggle to understand themselves 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.

Emergency Assistance

If you perceive an immediate danger or risk of suicide, call 911 for immediate assistance.

Students can also reach mental health support 24 hours a day on the UD Helpline or the Crisis Text Line.

Worried about a student?

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Spring 2020: What is my role?

In this new virtual environment, students may have a range of needs and experiences. If you are worried about a student’s safety, please reach out for help.

CCSD will continue to provide phone check-ins to students, in addition to case management and therapy, as is clinically advised through the remainder of the semester. Our care is being offered through a telehealth format that involves the use of secure phone or video connections. We also remain available to manage psychological emergencies.

Is consultation available?

If you need to consult with a clinical staff member, please call CCSD 302-831-2141 during our regular hours (8-5 M-F) or the UD Helpline after hours, 302-831-1001.

What should I do in an emergency?

In emergency situations involving students who are unwilling or unable to seek help on their own, contact any of the following:

Center for Counseling & Student Development: 302-831-2141 (available 8-5 M-F)
UD Helpline 24/7/365: 302-831-1001
Crisis Text Line: Text “UDTEXT”, or "STEVE" for students of color, to 741741
Police and/or Ambulance: 911

How is CCSD supporting students during this time?

CCSD remains available to students during the remainder of the semester. Our clinicians are able to communicate with students via phone and Zoom sessions, and have been trained to do both with care and ethical practice. We expect that we can serve a large majority of the students seeking support from us, though some students will be referred to local practitioners when this option is a better match for their situation or need.

Our offerings for group treatment, prepared content and outreach to students are evolving. To reach students virtually, our clinical staff is creating content that will be available through this website. Some of it will be open to all students; other options will be available to students with whom we are in contact. Content will be focused on topics such as distress tolerance and managing grief in uncertain times. In addition, we are building out online content for one of our most popular and successful groups, “You’ve Got This!” which is designed to train students in new coping strategies using techniques that have been proven effective with our students.

When and how do I refer a student to CCSD?

Not every student needs professional counseling. However, if distressing circumstances are affecting a student’s wellbeing or ability to make satisfactory academic progress, a referral for counseling may be in order. Referrals are usually indicated in the following situations:

  1. A student presents a problem or requests information which is outside your range of knowledge or expertise;
  2. You notice that personality differences between you and the student will interfere with your efforts to help them; or
  3. A clearly distressed student is reluctant to discuss a problem with you for some reason.

Once you determine that a student could benefit from professional counseling, speak with them privately in a direct fashion, showing concern for their welfare. For example, “I’m worried about your safety because you have seemed down lately. My concern grew when I read in your email that “it doesn’t matter what happens because I’m not going to be around much longer.” Specific mention of behaviors or observations is most effective for conveying concern.

Be sure to let students know that our services are confidential, and we have years of experience working with college students. If the student agrees to the referral, encourage them to call us (302-831-2141) to request to speak with a counselor. During this unusual semester, the student will receive a call back from a CCSD Triage counselor who will check in with them. The student and the clinician will collaborate about the type of help needed and next steps. These initial requests for contact are available M-F between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Calls after 3 p.m. will be screened for emergent needs. Students who are deemed as emergencies will receive a same day call back. If we are very busy, students who call after 3 p.m. and are not emergencies may receive a call back the following day.

We encourage you to follow up with the student later to show your continued interest even if they did not accept your attempted referral. If a student refuses your referral and you remain concerned, feel free to call us (or the UD Helpline after hours) to consult.

Resources for Family and Friends

What is my role as a parent or family member?

College is a time of great change, when students become more independent and learn how to manage their lives. For families, we know this transition can be filled with anticipation as well as anxiety, confusion and hope. We recommend that you support your student’s growth by:

  • providing a steady, supportive home base for your student;
  • recognizing that there will be ups and downs in a student’s needs and expectations;
  • following your student’s lead and encourage them to work through problems using you as a consultant;
  • helping your student balance their thoughts and emotions to make their best decisions;
  • noticing and appreciating the new skills your student develops; and
  • taking care of your own needs during what can be a stressful and confusing time.

Whether your student will be returning home for the holidays or commuting throughout the year to UD, consider how their new levels of responsibility and independence will be acknowledged in the home. If you’d like to talk through the situation you are experiencing, feel free to call CCSD at 302-831-2141.

What is my role as a friend?

You may find yourself concerned with the behavior, emotional concerns or demeanor of a friend. Many students talk with a counselor because they want some ideas about how to be helpful to another person. If a consultation meeting would be helpful to you, call CCSD for a phone consultation or appointment at 302-831-2141. We recommend that you support your friend by:

  • listening to and putting yourself in the shoes of the friend about whom you are concerned to help them feel understood and cared about;
  • being specific about your concerns and direct about your recommendations if you decide to address them;
  • recognizing that change often happens in stages, and your friend may not take your advice immediately; and
  • reaching out to CCSD or any of our emergency services if you feel that the situation is urgent.

What happens if my student or friend seeks counseling?

It is not unusual for a student to come to the University having already received counseling at home. Others may not have previous counseling experience but might have a difficult time in making the transition to college. If you are a family member who knows your student has a history of mental health problems or treatment, please check with us before school begins about what we can offer and what you may need to seek off-campus. Your continued support and involvement is often crucial to your student’s wellbeing. While the University aims to provide a supportive environment for students, it cannot replace the essential role of family.

All students eligible to pay the Student Health Fee are entitled to a thorough assessment and recommendation for counseling. All services provided by the CCSD are intended to provide short-term assistance to students in dealing with personal, career, and educational concerns which may be barriers to their academic progress.

After an initial assessment of a student’s concerns, the psychologists and/or psychiatrists will determine if an individual’s needs may best be met by the CCSD’s services or are beyond the scope of those services. In the latter cases, such individuals will receive a referral to other sources of assistance, on or off-campus. The CCSD does not provide forensic services that involve litigation or require court testimony.

Interviews conducted at the CCSD are confidential in nature. Information cannot be released except upon a student’s written request, when the student is a clear danger to self or others, or as may be required by law. The CCSD adheres very strictly to this policy.

What should I do in an emergency?

In emergency situations involving students who are unwilling or unable to seek help on their own, contact any of the following:

Center for Counseling & Student Development: 302-831-2141 (available 8-5 M-F)
UD Helpline 24/7/365: 302-831-1001
Crisis Text Line: Text “UDTEXT”, or "STEVE" for students of color, to 741741
Police and/or Ambulance: 911

Resources for Self-Help

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Resources

APA Keeping Your Distance to Stay Healthy
American Psychological Association: Five Ways to View Coronavirus Coverage
APA’s General Resources During a Pandemic
CDC Pandemic Preparedness Resources
Managing Sleep During the Pandemic
Free Guide to Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty (available in 20 language translations)
Tara Brach Website which includes Meditations/Reflections (some specific to COVID-19), Talks, Events/Classes and Resources
Koru “Un-Class” is now available for a one-time app fee of $3.99. This program will focus on skills and strategies around mindfulness and how to have a regular mindfulness practice.

Resources for Underrepresented Students


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