Skip navigation

Student Life

Health & Counseling Center

hcc ritchie center

Are You Concerned About Your Child?

Understanding the Transition to College

College will likely be a period of intellectual stimulation and growth, career exploration and development, increased autonomy, self-exploration and discovery, and social involvement.

  • Trust in your child's ability to be successful
  • Encourage your child to grow in all dimensions of college life
  • Encourage self-reliance; it builds self-confidence, self-efficacy, and personal responsibility
  • Encourage your child to use campus resources
  • Remain open to learning new things about your child
  • Trust that the values and lessons you taught them are there
  • Encourage them to get involved in and focus on campus life.

Understanding how the Transition to College Impacts Parents

The college experience is also a significant transition for parents. You may experience a range of emotions, including happiness, excitement, and pride, sadness, fear, and concern about your child. Support yourself by:

  • Develop and maintain your own support systems
  • Fill more of your time with activities devoted to self-care
  • Use campus resources, including the DU Parents Program, to obtain information to support your child

Health & Counseling Center Services

The Health and Counseling Center offers a variety of mental health services to enhance your child's academic success and emotional well-being.

  • Short-term individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Crisis services
  • Psychiatric services
  • Alcohol and drug screening
  • Educational workshops for personal, academic, and career success
  • Community mental health referrals
  • Web-based self-help materials and links to a variety of on-line resources, including podcasts and online mental health screenings

When is counseling appropriate for my child?

Students seek counseling for many reasons including:

  • Loneliness and adjustment issues
  • Concerns about career choice and/or academic performance
  • Family stress such as a family loss, divorce, or alcoholism
  • Emotional difficulties such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, alcohol and drug problems, self-esteem, or suicidal feelings
  • Interpersonal conflict or isolation

How can my child get an appointment?

We prefer that your son or daughter call the Health and Counseling Center to schedule his or her own appointment. They know their schedule best, and they are more likely to keep their appointment if they have scheduled it. A Health and Counseling Center counselor can talk with you about ways to encourage your child to schedule an appointment and how to talk to him or her about counseling.

How the HCC can help parents

If you have a question about services or how you can help your son or daughter call the Health and Counseling Center during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, MST) at 303-871-2205 and ask to speak with a counselor.

If your son or daughter is experiencing a mental health emergency:

  • During business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm), phone our office at 303-871-2205, and speak directly with a counselor or arrange for your son or daughter to come in for a crisis session.
  • When the office is closed, call DU Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 and ask to speak to the Counselor on Call. A counselor on call is available free of charge 24 hours per day, 7 days a week (except when the university is closed during the Christmas break. If your child is experiencing a crisis at that time, please call Denver Metro Crisis Services at 888-885-1222.)

What does confidentiality mean for parents?

  • Confidentiality is essential to the counseling relationship
  • Without your child's written consent we can not confirm or deny that a student has come to the Health and Counseling Center for a counseling session or disclose the name of their counselor.
  • If you want to talk to your son or daughter's counselor, you should talk to your child and ask them to sign a release of information form at the Health and Counseling Center.
  • You may also contact the Counselor-on-Call to share your concerns or to obtain general information

If you need additional assistance:

  • Consult with Student Outreach & Support within the Student Life division. This organization:
    • Connects students in need of resources to appropriate campus or community services
    • Communicates with appropriate campus resources on student issues, including hospitalizations, and crisis situations
  • You can complete an incident report about a student of concern through Student Life's Student Support page.