Information for Parents and Families

Drury University > Behavioral Health Services > Information for Parents and Families

We believe that you play an extremely important role in helping us to assist students with personal, emotional, and adjustment problems. Parents are usually the first to notice changes in their student’s behavior, attitudes, and emotional stability. These changes might indicate a problem that could hinder the student’s success in college. Below are some guidelines to help your college student:

Communicate. Don’t be afraid to talk to your child if you think that something is wrong. You may be in the best position to notice changes that are difficult for your child. Be sure to be persistent.

Know Signs & Symptoms of Distress. Mental health problems often appear for the first time during the college years, so it may be useful to familiarize yourself with signs and symptoms of distress. The following list of signs and symptoms of student distress may be useful:

  • Crying uncontrollably.
  • Withdrawing from normal activities.
  • Avoiding friends, activities, school, and/or social events.
  • Inability to think about anything but the problem.
  • Unexpected outbursts of anger or crying.
  • Inability to sleep or always feeling exhausted or irritated.
  • Sleeping excessively to escape.
  • Lacking energy.
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene.
  • Inability to make decisions.
  • Dramatic weight loss or weight gain.
  • Daydreaming all the time.
  • Severe behavior change, for example, a quiet student becoming wild or active.
  • Excessive use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and futility.

Encourage Engagement with Mental Health Services. If one or both of you think it is necessary, encourage your child to seek help. Students, at times, can be reluctant because they fear someone will find out. Reassure your child that counseling services are confidential and that you support their outreach for assistance. All mental health services provided to students at Drury University are covered by the student service fees that were paid during registration. There are no additional charges for counseling. Services are provided by Burrell Behavioral Health, a community mental health center, via the Burrell on Campus initiative. A variety of services are available to meet the needs of your child.

Make a Call. If you are concerned about your child’s emotional well-being, it may be helpful to call Counseling Services at 873-7418 and/or Campus Security at 873-7400 (non-emergency) or 873-7911 (emergency).

Understand FERPA. Realize there are limits to what the college will notify you regarding your child’s mental health. If you wish to follow-up with us after referring or discussing your student, please encourage your student to sign a written authorization form when he or she comes for counseling.