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The Carruth Center's services will be provided virtually through telehealth and other online methods except in crisis situations or when clinically indicated until further notice due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Your counselors will contact you about ongoing service options. Please call 304-293-4431 or send us an email if you have questions. If immediate assistance is needed, the Crisis Text Line is available by texting WVU to 741741 to reach a live, trained counselor. It is free, confidential and available 24/7.

Information for Parents and Guardians

Introduction:

What Services does the Carruth Center Offer?

The Carruth Center for Counseling and Psychological Services has a variety of confidential counseling services (skills building sessions, group counseling, short-term counseling, urgent and crisis intervention, and drug and alcohol counseling from the Student Assistance Program) are available to enrolled WVU students.   Some services offered do have fees associated with them. Please see our  fees page  for more information.

The Carruth Center services are meant to provide short-term assistance to students with personal, educational, and social concerns that may interfere with their academic studies. On-going short-term counseling is available, to get started, students must have complete a schedule initial appointment.  Initial appointments can be scheduled by calling us at 304-293-4431

Each student's needs will vary from person to person, and is based upon a collaborative understanding between the counselor and student. 

Some students may benefit from longer term or specialized treatment that is not available at the center. When students require these kinds of services, the clinician will help arrange services with outside providers. 

Psychiatry Services

Our clinical staff are unable to prescribe medication but will aid students in finding a psychiatrist or doctor who can.  We work closely with the psychiatrists and medical staff at Healthy Minds University and WVU Medicine Student Health  to help students get their medication needs met.  

What if I Know My Student Will Need Counseling?

It is not unusual for students to come to WVU having already had counseling at home. For some students, this may be the first time they may be accessing any kind of counseling. Either way, the transition to university life can sometimes prove difficult. Students and parents are both encouraged to contact our center to ask any questions regarding our services and discuss which options may be best.  The following information can be helpful in getting someone you care about to talk with a counselor.

How do I talk to my student about reaching out to the Carruth Center?

If you notice some changes in your student, it is important to normalize that although college can be an exciting time, it can also be a stressful time.   It is important to let them know that you support them stopping at the Carruth Center to talk about their stress, their options for treatment and that they can call to get an initial appointment.    It is important to encourage them that many people struggle and it is ok to ask for help.  

As a parent, you may be wondering how to know if your student is struggling. Below are some signs that your student may be distressed:

  • Decline in academic performance
  • Prolonged sadness, tearfulness
  • Weight changes
  • Changes in personal hygiene
  • Communicates thoughts of ending their life
  • Agitation, irritability, nervousness
  • Bizarre behavior or speech
  • More extreme dependency on family

What you can do to help:

  • Listen and be supportive without being critical or judgmental (no easy task!). Students are often their worst critics-- they often worry about being perceived as failures.
  • Let your student know that you care and communicate it directly.
  • Ask your student how they are feeling and about what it’s like for them right now.
  • Help them problem solve.  What has worked for them in the past?
  • Help them develop coping strategies and ways to take action but let them make their own choices.
  • Advocate for self-care- Encourage balance between school and work, healthy eating and physical exercise routines, getting connected with student groups and planning in some time for themselves. 
  • Encourage seeking medical and/or mental health care if they need it.   
  • Balance respect for privacy and offers of support- Assure your student of your respect for their privacy as they begin to navigate their own health care.  Your advice, support, and/or financial assistance will continue to be important for their wellbeing.    
  • Be open- college is a time to try new things and learn about life.   Try to be available to your student if they want to discuss important topics and encourage healthy behavior in a nonjudgemental way. 
  • Support your student in seeking help and connecting them to resources. Encourage them to make the required phone calls or to send the related emails.
  • Examine your expectations--- this may not be their best semester (isn't that likely true for all of us?)

The list we provided above is a brief rather than comprehensive list and are typical signs that someone may be in distress. If you are concerned about your student and aren’t sure what to do, call 304-293-4431. Clinicians are available 24/7.

Are Services Confidential? Can I Be Involved?

Any information a student shares with one of the counselors is protected by West Virginia law. Information about the counseling a student receives is not released, except upon receiving written permission from the student.  The only exception to this are in circumstances which would result in a clear and present danger to the safety of the student, or others, as required by law.

It is understandable that you wish to be involved when your student seeks counseling. The best source concerning your student’s counseling is the student. If your student wishes for you to be involved in their treatment here, the student must sign a written release specifying exactly what we are allowed to communicate to you.

Parents can call and speak with one of our clinicians about the services we provide and questions about our services in general.  

Why Do Students Come to Counseling?

Students may seek counseling for many reasons. Some may come to solve a longstanding problem, and others may be looking for a bit of self-discovery. Students can discuss anxiety, stress management, depression, homesickness, relationship troubles, eating disorders, roommate issues, career choices, and concerns about their family including divorce and substance abuse. There are some common occurrences for which a student may be referred for counseling:

  • Drastic changes in personal relationships – such as a death of a loved one, pregnancy, or divorce
  • Anxiety and depression – especially if the symptoms significantly impact a student’s day – to – day functioning
  • Significant changes in mood and/or behavior – withdrawal from others, unexpected or unexplained crying bouts, anger outbursts, threatening to harm themselves or others
  • Concern about academics – worrying about academic failure, thinking about dropping out, considering transferring schools

What to do if I have concerns about my student?

We can help! Call us at 304-293-4431 to consult with one of our clinicians.  Our staff members are experiencing in helping provide supportive resources for students in distress.   

If your concern is emergent and life threatening, please see follow our emergency procedures for support.  

For non-urgent concerns, but to help connect with campus resources who can also be helpful for your student, also make sure to Connect with our CARE Team and complete a CARE Report.  

Information for First Year Parents/Guardians

We understand that transitioning to a new school can be exciting as well as stressful. Some of our WVU students find counseling services to be helpful during this transition and we would like to help you facilitate the best possible care.

If your student currently sees a professional for counseling and can continue to see them, our recommendation is that the student continues care with their current provider. This will ensure the continuity of your student’s care. 

If your student decides to transfer their care to WVU for short term counseling, it will be important to sign a release of information with their current provider so that their records are transferred.

If your student will require specialized/intensive clinical services that require meeting with the same therapist beyond our short term scope, we recommend receiving care by a  community provider here in Morgantown. Your student should  contact us so that we can help your student arrange this care.

We are also available for consultation to students that wish to transfer their existing psychiatric care to the Morgantown Area.  WVU Medicine Student Health may also be an option for some students wishing to continue their care while at WVU. Please contact us for more information.

Where Can My Student Find the Counseling Center on Campus?

Health and Education Building
390 Birch Street
PO Box 6422
Morgantown, WV 26506-6422

(Easily found on the Evansdale campus adjacent to the Student Rec Center.)

For more information about our services, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions.