College can be an exciting and fulfilling time of life but it can also present many challenges that can overwhelm a student's ability to cope.
As a family member, it can be hard to know whether to actively intervene to help resolve issues for your student or whether to stand back and allow the student to handle things independently. "Getting the balance" can be difficult, especially when you watch your student struggle with emotional issues and academic difficulties. You may wonder how you can help or what to do if your student is struggling.
It might comfort you to know that CAPS staff are licensed mental health professionals who have experience working with college students. We can help you and your student discern normal life adjustments from mental health concerns that may benefit from professional intervention.
Helpful Campus Offices & Programs
For general student concerns, the Office of the Dean of Students offers a wide variety of educational programming, as well as advising and referral services for individual students and many student organizations. Dean of Students Office is also able to assist students who are experiencing a family emergency or are in need of a medical leave.
The Center for Educational Access (CEA) serves as the central campus resource for helping students with disabilities obtain the accommodations they need for equal access to classroom activity. The CEA provides direct support for students with disabilities and training and educational resources to the University community as a whole. The university also consults with the CEA about ways to build the technological infrastructure to maximize the accessibility of the institution's programs, services, and activities.
In partnership with students, faculty, and staff, CEA staff members work with students individually and assist academic units to determine reasonable accommodations that will enable every student to have access to the full range of programs and services.
CLASS+ works with students to refine and strengthen the academic skills necessary for success at the University of Arkansas.
ISS serves foreign students and scholars and enhances the global awareness of the University of Arkansas community.
The goal of the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program is to provide the intensive assistance
students with high functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and non-verbal learning disability need in order to be successful in college. Our students are matriculated University of Arkansas undergraduates who have the cognitive abilities to be in college but require more help than their typical peers to complete a college degree.
Students enrolled in the program receive support in three areas: academics, transitioning to independent adult roles, and social skills.
The mission of the OSSC is to support the University of Arkansas’ mission by promoting a safe and orderly community through the education of students, the enforcement of behavioral standards, peer mentoring, and leadership development.
They also aid in the development of student ethics that embrace the norms and values
as well as to educate students about their rights and responsibilities as community
The ultimate goal is to help students understand the balance between individual and community rights and foster an atmosphere that is conducive to academic success.
At the University of Arkansas, parents and families play an essential role in the overall success of students. We strive to ensure that the college experience is rewarding, both academically and socially for your student. By providing important resources, communication, education and relationships to our parents, we can help our students by giving them the necessary support that will enable them to accomplish their goals.
The Parent Partnership Association is dedicated to helping families transition into the University, encourage mutual understanding and to facilitate communication between parents, students, and the University. The Association also seeks to promote and sponsor programs and services that meet the needs of parents and students, and involve parents in the life of the University Community.
The purpose of the U of A Cares website is to encourage and allow members of the University community to refer students that are exhibiting signs of distress in their academic, personal, financial life or other areas.
Based on the information provided, the appropriate professional staff will be assembled to aid in addressing the concern in a comprehensive, efficient, and effective manner. This allows us to establish a system of collaborative care and concern.
SPARK is a program based upon the acceptance of personal responsibility and making positive lifestyle choices regarding the consumption of alcohol. SPARK is based upon the Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students (BASICS) model. The aim of this program is to reduce harmful consumption and associated problems among students who drink alcohol. The program consists of 2 sessions lasting approximately 50 minutes each.
The first session assesses your consumption patterns and reviews the negative consequences that one can encounter from excessive drinking. The student is provided with personalized feedback and goals are set to reduce future risks associated with alcohol use. These goals are reviewed and possibly revised in the second meeting as guided feedback is provided and the student creates a long-term plan on ways to make changes in drinking patterns and to reduce the negative consequences associated with alcohol use.
STAR Central is the Office of Support, Training, Advocacy, & Resources on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence coordinated through the Department of Wellness and Health Promotion at the Pat Walker Health Center. STAR Central serves the University community through education programs, professional consultations, and victim advocacy services.
Full Circle Food Pantry is a student led emergency food assistance program that distributes a three day supply of food to all members of a household provided at least one person has a University of Arkansas ID number. As well as personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and fresh produce.
The pantry also provide services in an effort to reach more clients with a long term solution to food insecurity such as helping clients apply for SNAP applications and find other local resources.
Other Helpful Resources
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the call is routed to the nearest crisis center in our national network of more than 150 crisis centers. The Lifeline’s national network of local crisis centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals day and night. They also offer a safety planning app which can be very helpful. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
The Arkansas Crisis Center began operation in 1985 as a 24/7 hotline with a primary mission of suicide prevention. The ACC Hotline now assists with calls concerning suicide, substance abuse, physical and emotional abuse, relationship violence, divorce, loneliness, rape, depression, HIV/AIDS, financial difficulties, runaways and other youth issues, emergency shelter, pregnancy, sexual orientation, etc. We work closely with battered women’s shelters, counseling centers, rape crisis centers and many other community service providers to ensure that our callers receive the help needed during times of crises. http://www.arcrisis.org/
The Jed Foundation's mission is to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college and university students. The Jed Foundation offers a significant amount of resources for students and family members. http://www.jedfoundation.org/
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need. http://www.nami.org/ NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.
The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/
SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. http://www.samhsa.gov/
Helpguide’s mission is to provide you and your family with mental health information you can trust. Their expert, ad-free resources empower you with the knowledge and encouragement you need to take charge of your life and make healthy choices. We believe that with support and self-help options, you can understand, prevent, and resolve many of life’s challenges.http://www.helpguide.org/
Whether you need help picking a school that is the best fit, are looking for tips on managing stress once on campus, or want guidance in making a smooth transition for a student dealing with an issue like depression, this site has the tools and information you need. Transition Year is an online resource center to help parents and students focus on emotional health before, during and after the college transition.It's common to assume that the major obstacle in adjusting to campus life will be academic. However, research shows that emotional issues are most likely to interfere with success at college. Transition Year helps you prepare.http://www.transitionyear.org/
Active Minds is the leading nonprofit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. We are changing the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities and advocacy training to the next generation.
By developing and supporting chapters of a student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy group on campuses nationwide, the nonprofit organization works to increase students’ awareness of mental health issues, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed, and serve as liaison between students and the mental health community. Through campus-wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues on campuses nationwide. http://www.activeminds.org/
NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
CHADD is a national non-profit, tax-exempt (Section 501 (c) (3) ) organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD. In addition to our informative Web site, CHADD also publishes a variety of printed materials to keep members and professionals current on research advances, medications and treatments affecting individuals with ADHD. These materials include Attention magazine, News From CHADD, a free electronically mailed current events newsletter, as well as other publications of specific interest to educators, professionals and parents. http://www.chadd.org/
International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), formerly known as California Bipolar Foundation, was founded in June 2007 in San Diego, California by four parents with children affected by bipolar disorder. Well aware of the trauma that bipolar disorder causes for consumers and their families, these parents felt compelled to do something constructive to help. http://www.ibpf.org/about-international-bipolar-foundation
DBSA provides hope, help, support, and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders. http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home
We have had suicidal thoughts and emotions and problems that felt unsolvable. Here are our stories, including research based ways for managing the most painful moments of life. We teach Mindfulness, Mindfulness of Current Emotion, Opposite Action and Paced-breathing. These skills are part of Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT that can be helpful for people considering suicide. These tools are not considered a replacement for one-to-one counseling. You do not have to have suicidal thoughts or mental health problems to use these tools – they are useful for most people and many problems. http://www.nowmattersnow.org/skills
Finding a Therapist
Finding a therapist can be a daunting task! There are so many different aspects to consider and it can be hard to know where and how to start the process. It’s important to know you have options.
What type of treatment do you want? (e.g. Individual therapy, group therapy, medications, long term, short term, etc.)
Do you want to use your insurance or do you want to pay out-of-pocket? What can you afford?
What qualities do you look for in a therapist? (Warm, caring, straightforward, honest, gentle, etc.)
Do you have any preferences in a therapist? (Gender, religious orientation, etc.)
How often and how long do you want to be seen?
What challenges may complicate your treatment experience? (Previous bad counseling experiences, unreliable transportation, etc.)
How soon can you see me? How often can you see me?
How much do you charge per session? Do you accept my insurance? What is your cancellation or reschedule policy?
How long have you been in practice? What is your success rate?
What kind of interventions do you use? What kind of therapy do you do?
Provider search through insurance website
Psychology Today Therapist Finder
SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Locator
Good old fashioned Google & Yelp
Local 211 and/or NAMI chapter
Local college or university counseling centers
If multiple providers share a common address, it’s probably a practice location with several options available to you. Google the address and find the practice website and do more research on services offered, fees for services, etc. Many times, private practices offer multiple services in one location, e.g. therapy, groups, workshops, medication evaluations, psychological testing, etc. This is a good “one stop shop” option.
Most private practices accept out-of-pocket payments for services. Ask about fees for service, sliding scale fees, prepaid package discounts, and student or family rates. It’s important to be mindful of your budget and know what you can afford.
Many colleges and universities offer free or discounted treatment options through their training facilities. Therapists can be masters-level students (social work, psychology, mental health counseling, etc.) and are under supervision by licensed providers.
Google is your best friend through this process. Many provider finders offer searchable options to help narrow down your options (search by gender, location, specialty area, payment options, treatment options, etc.)
If you aren’t sure what kind of treatment you want, http://www.nami.org. Treatment has an excellent overview of different types of treatments and services.
You can search for providers on your insurance provider’s website.
There are also several national search engines that can help you find a therapist near you: