Submitted by Alison Radcliff, PhD, LP. Psychologist, Counseling Services
If your student is struggling, you’re in a key position to encourage them to go to counseling. Counseling Services provide individual, multi-person, and group counseling, plus testing for some learning issues. The diverse staff in Counseling Services can help your student work through struggles they experience at Boise State, and ensure they are connected to different areas of campus for support.
Counseling is helpful beyond “big” problems, like suicide or severe depression. It’s also good for struggles like high stress, poor sleep, homesickness, break ups, substance use, and procrastination.
Your student’s choice to go to therapy can be a complicated one, made more difficult by the stigma of mental health issues or a misunderstanding of what counseling is and how it works. Here are some ways you can encourage your student to seek help:
- Normalize the idea of resistance to therapy. Being vulnerable and sharing your struggles can seem overwhelming. Remind your student that often the best way out of a difficult situation is to share your struggles and see it through a new perspective.
- Consider attending therapy yourself; we tend to respond better to people who lead by example. Going to therapy yourself will normalize the process and may be the encouragement they need.
- Don’t force the issue, but offer consistent and ongoing encouragement.
- “Nudge” your student to attend counseling, medical appointments, wellness visits or other healthy choices by making it easy to make those choices, for instance:
- remove financial concerns
- help them understand insurance coverage
- consider attending the first appointment as a family
Counseling Services is located in the Norco Building. More information about the full range of services provided can be found here.