Parent Information

Welcome to GCU! The Office of Student Care is here to support your student’s mental health as they begin and progress through their college journey.

We also know this can be a time of anxiety and worry for parents as well. Therefore, we have included some helpful information and links that can guide you as you navigate how to best support your student.

The experience of your child moving away to college can generate feelings of excitement and exuberance - along with sadness, grief and wariness. Yes, it is painful to let them go, but also know that a child who can be autonomous while maintaining a supportive relationship with you will have the best chance for success.

Appointments

If your student is 18 or over, they can contact the GCU Office of Student Care to make an appointment. They fill out their own paperwork and sessions are confidential. You can encourage your child to visit us by pointing them to the How to Make an Appointment tab on our Student Care page.

Minor Consent

If your student is under 18, and planning to visit the GCU Office of Student Care, state law requires consent prior to treatment, parental signatures must be notarized and include the Notary Public’s Commission Number and Notary Public’s Official Seal.

The Consent to Treat Minor form can be found here.


It is normal for students to struggle with homesickness, decisions, academic expectations, financial stress and being an adult for the first time. Every student is in the learning process of how to grow up and respond appropriately. No matter what students are struggling with, the Office of Student Care is here to help.

We are a solution focused practice and some of the common concerns students bring to our office include: homesickness, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, emotion regulation, trauma, grief/loss, substance use and relationship issues.

The Office of Student Care has qualified, licensed clinicians with years of experience caring for a wide range of mental and emotional needs. For more information on our qualifications and scope of practice you can review our scope of practice here.

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Helpful Tips

We can imagine you have done a lot for your student and maybe are used to things going a certain way. Making that shift to them being away from home can be hard. This can come in many shapes and sizes, your student could be calling you incessantly and still wanting to lean on you daily or they could forget to call you and think they have this new life covered and anywhere in between. The goal here is to be supportive while also helping your child to be autonomous.

As parents, we have to resist the urge to control our student and instead allow them space to make mistakes. We also have to be supportive and alert and know when it is time to step in because they are making poor choices. Holding the tension between these two options can be hard. Below are a few tips to being supportive without being controlling.

It is best to listen, withhold judgement, notice our own emotions and work through them before we spew it all over our student. One option parents can choose before interjecting our guidance is to ask, “Would you like me to ask you some questions to help you think through this or do you prefer to work through it on your own?”

If they want to work through it on their own, you can say, “I am sure you can handle it,” “I am here if you need me,” “I believe in you.” Listening, and reminding your student you believe in them can help foster independence.

If your student really wants your input and wants you to solve it for them and you want to help them work on solving their own problems you can try saying things like, “What have you tried?” “What would you like to try next?”

Often, encouragement is key. Even for the smallest things, saying, “I knew you could do it,” or, “I knew you would know what to do” can build confidence in your student. Resist the urge to share negative feelings. Focus on the growth and honoring even small steps your student makes. You will make it through this change!

Expectations can be good but they can also be a hindrance to the open and honest relationship you might want. If your student feels pressure to meet your expectations and fears disappointing you it can actually lead to withdrawal or other behavior that is not conducive to a successful semester. Parents can lovingly communicate expectations and also give some room for them to make choices within reason.

If you find your student is stuck or would benefit from counseling we are always here to help. You can give your student the information to contact the GCU Student Care Center where they will be able to make an appointment. We offer brief, solution-focused Individual and group counseling to full-time ground students. These appointments as well as crisis appointments are available on a daily basis

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Helpful tips are available under the tab Mental Health tips on the Student Care main page.


Crisis Report

Recognize when to step in.

If your student is in over their head during the semester at GCU, and is not demonstrating an ability to “pick themselves back up,” here are a few options:

Option 1

If you think they are in danger or may harm themselves or someone else, you can do a wellness check. Send an to email to [email protected] and a public safety officer will check in on your student and see if they are safe and if they need further assistance.

You can also reach out to public safety at 602- 639-8100.

Option 2

If they are struggling but not in danger you can always point them to make an appointment with the GCU Office of Student Care.

Contact them at 602-639-7007 or [email protected].

Important Contact Information

602-639-8100
[email protected]
Wellness check, public safety

 

602-639-7007
[email protected]
Office of Student Care Information Line

602-639-8254
Robyn Hord, Parent and Family Programs Coordinator

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