MCLA Counseling Services is committed to providing quality services to enrolled students.
As college mental health professionals, we recognize that for many students, personal,
developmental, or psychological challenges may arise during their time at MCLA, and
may jeopardize their ability to fully benefit from their educational experience. Our
staff aims to help and support students as they struggle with these challenges.
We know that for most students, parents continue to play an important role in their lives. While the college years typically present significant changes in the relationship between parent and child, research (as well as our own experience) suggests that those students who maintain positive and trusting relationships with their parents experience fewer struggles in the areas of college adjustment and self-esteem, and tend to make better behavioral choices while at school.
We believe that the college years ideally encourage increased independence and autonomy for students, however we also recognize and respect the ongoing role you will play in the upbringing and welfare of your child. To this end, we offer the following information in the spirit of hoping that you will assist us in our efforts to be of service to your student.
Recognizing the signs of a potential problem
As a parent, you may have access to "information" that may be relevant to your student's psychological well-being. The following verbal and behavioral signs may be suggestive of a potential problem:
Some general guidelines for how to respond to your concerns
Making a referral for Counseling Services
In many cases, your student may be hesitant regarding seeking professional help. They may need to know that you don't see them as a "failure" or as "weak" for doing so. If, indeed, you have decided to recommend to your student that they seek our services (or other professional mental health services), be prepared to give specific information regarding cost (free), location (MountainOne Student Wellness Center, 2nd Floor), and how to make an appointment (by calling 413-662-5331 or stopping by the office). You might suggest that your student "give counseling a try" by attending one session. Finally, be realistic; sometimes a seed or two needs to be planted before a student "hears" others' concerns and actually follows through with a counseling referral. If, however, there is clear and imminent danger to your student or somebody else, respond more aggressively by contacting your local hospital emergency room, your local police, or MCLA Department of Public Safety at ext. 5100.
You and your student should understand that as required by state and federal law, as well as professional ethical codes, mental health professionals are obligated to protect the privacy and confidentiality of their clients and their disclosures. There are exceptions to confidentiality (outlined more extensively on the Confidentiality Page of our website), which typically involve imminent danger to self or others, but in general, students expect (and we honor) protection of their confidences. These confidentiality requirements remain in effect even when a parent has made the referral for their student to counseling services. Please understand that while we will respect our students' confidences, and comply with the law, we will certainly listen to concerns about a student from interested parties, including, of course, parents.