Roanoke College

Information For Family And Friends

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How Do I Get Help For My Loved One?
Can I Make An Appointment For Him/Her?

We understand how hard it can be to watch a loved one struggle.  The overwhelming desire is to get them help. While it seems like a good idea to make an appointment for someone else, we find that this actually decreases the chance of that person getting help because they feel forced into counseling. A better idea is to encourage the student to make an appointment for him or herself. This allows that person to decide there is something in life to change and working with someone in counseling is the way to change it.  This is necessary for someone to begin to take control of their feelings and behaviors, something that can only be done in counseling by the student. You can provide them with our contact information, offer to support them while they call to make an appointment or even walk with them to our office so they can make an appointment in person.


I Am Worried About My Loved One and Would Like A Counselor To Check On Him/Her.

Again, while this seems like a good idea, it tends to backfire and students often resist counseling efforts when presented in this way. We work closely with several departments on campus to identify and reach out to students who are struggling. Those departments include Residence Life and Campus Safety. You may call either office at any time and request that someone check on your loved one. The professional staff in those departments will locate the student, ensure that he or she is safe and offer to help them access counseling services, if desired. Staff members from Residence Life and Campus Safety also participate in the campus CARE Team and are able to inform other members of the campus community about the student's struggles so that others may reach out to him or her. This increases the likelihood of your loved one remaining safe and getting the help that he or she needs. 

 
I Want to Share Information About My Loved One with His/Her Counselor.

The counselors in the Counseling Center are always happy to consult with you regarding a student about whom you are concerned. We do not require a release of information to listen to your concerns and provide general feedback and guidance about how you can help them. However, if you would like specific information about your loved one's treatment, including whether or not he or she comes to us for services or is currently attending sessions, we would have to have a signed release of information from the student for us to share that type of information. Only in cases of immediate danger may we share information without a signed release of information. This is consistent with state and federal confidentiality laws.