Parents: How to Help Your Student Succeed

Dear Parents and Family Members of SFSU Students,

The increase of emotional problems and disorders occurring among college students on campuses nationally has been well documented. Previously students found their way to the counseling center in their junior or senior year. Now it is much more common that students arrive on campus needing some type of psychological assistance. With this in mind, we wanted to provide you with some ways of helping your child or family member get ready to start their college experience, should they need mental health services.

Our Counseling & Psychological Services and Student Health Center provide services to about 30,000 students and are unable to operate as primary care providers when long term care is necessary. We believe it is important to advise you of the scope of our services before your child or family member arrives on campus.

If your child or family member has a history of mental health issues, the best strategy for his or her success at SFSU is to develop a play for their psychological care prior to arrival on campus. Our recommendations are:

  • Check with your current health care provider for their approval list of health care professionals in the San Francisco area who are accepting new clients/patients. Schedule an appointment for an initial visit within the first couple of weeks of arriving in San Francisco. Some parents set up an appointment during the “move in period” and attend the meeting to administer the insurance and payment details.
  • Please encourage your child or family member to complete his/her emergency information card with clear information regarding diagnosis, medications, allergies, health care providers’ contact information and insurance policy information. It is also critical to make sure the emergency contact information is current.
  • There is a transition period for finding a new physician and pharmacy which accepts your insurance plan. If your child or family member is taking medications, work in cooperation with his/her physician to make sure they have an adequate supply of medication to make it through the “transition period”.
  • Work with your child or family member to help them formulate a strategy or routine for taking their medications regularly and in their proper dosage as prescribed. This is often a problem for students as they adjust to their new schedule and learn to navigate the numerous distractions of on-campus life. Some students have setbacks in managing their illnesses by forgetting their medications or electing not to take them.
  • These suggestions are provided, as a guideline that we hope is useful to you. If you require additional information about the types of mental health services available to your child or family member, please feel free to review our website.

We hope your student has a successful academic year.