Parent FAQ

About the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH)

The college years can be an exciting time, and also a stressful experience. Students go through so many developments and changes during these years and it is natural for them to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed at times. We are a group of mental health professionals dedicated to working with college students and we look forward to working with you to help your student.

How can I support my student?

  • Stay connected. Listen to your student. Often students simply need to talk about what's going on in their lives and want a familiar, trusted person to listen.
  • Ask questions. Show that you're interested in what your student is doing, how they are adjusting, or what they are learning. Your student may not want to talk in depth each time, but they will know you are there for them when they need someone to talk to.
  • Expect change. Your student is having many new experiences and is learning about him- or herself. You may see them change quickly.

What should I do if my student calls me in distress? What if I'm worried?

When you talk with your student, try to identify the nature of the issue and suggest available resources. For:

  • mental health emergency: If there is an immediate risk of injury, call 911 or the UMass Police Department (413) 545-3111. If your student can't care for themselves or is at risk for hurting themselves or someone else, call CCPH and ask to speak to the on-call clinician. Dial (413) 545-2337 weekdays or (877) 831-7421 nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • academic concerns: students can speak with their professor or academic dean.
  • medical concerns: contact University Health Services, (413) 577-5000.
  • housing or roommate issues: call Residential Life, (413) 545-2100.
  • depression, anxiety, relationship problem or other issues: Students can contact the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) (413) 545-2337 for a telephone triage appointment. After an initial discussion, the clinician will make recommendations that best meets your needs. This may include registering for a group or workshop, a follow up appointment with the clinician, referral for a medication consultation, or recommendations for other resources. In order to remain accessible to the greatest number of students, CCPH focuses on providing short-term and solution-focused therapy. If your student need or want longer-term therapy, we can help connect them with a local provider. CCPH is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For 24-hour on-call service, dial: (877) 831-7421.

If you are concerned about your student's well being and want to speak to one of our professionals about your student, call CCPH and ask for the on-call clinician Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For 24-hour on-call service, dial: (877) 831-7421.

My student is in long-term treatment and/or on psychotropic medication. How can I help with the transition to college?

Continuing care can be critical to adjustment and well being and we recommend planning well in advance of your student's arrival on campus. In many cases (particularly for stable, routine medication management), it may be best to continue seeing your home provider. For other students, it may make sense to receive services on campus or from a local provider. If a transition is planned, it is critical for your home provider to be in contact with the new provider to ensure continuity of care. It is important to allow plenty of time for the transition.

The CCPH does not have the capacity to manage chronic mental health conditions requiring intensive or frequent contacts. If our short-term care model won't adequately meet your student's needs, the clinician will recommend referral resources. We maintain relationships with community providers offering a range of expertise, and who accept a variety of insurance plans.

Can my student get ADHD prescriptions at CCPH?

We prescribe medication for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder to students who have a diagnosis of ADHD confirmed by formal psychological testing. This testing is done by a psychologist and generally occurs over several sessions. The testing should be relatively recent. If your student has not been diagnosed with ADHD via psychological testing, we can help your student schedule testing either at CCPH or in the community. This can take some time, so be sure to arrange continued medication from your student’s current provider.

If your student has not had psychological testing and does not wish to be tested, we recommend that they continue to get medication for ADHD from their current prescriber. A student may also seek care from community psychiatric providers in the Amherst area.