Transition to college is not always easy. For most, a friendly, empathic voice and someone to listen is all that is needed. You might want to arrange, with your child, a system for calling home and keeping in touch. Some students may need a weekend home for refueling; to touch base, eat a good meal, get some sleep in his/her own bed. Some need to know that their parents will be open-minded about talking about change, perhaps after the first semester. Foe exceptional cases, the Dean and/or a Counselor, in conjunction with the student and parents, may work out a suitable arrangement. Most young people will separate from their parents in their own way and at their own pace.
Caring Contact offers hope and compassion through their caring & crisis hotline. All services are provided by volunteers who devote themselves to preventing suicide and other self-destructive behavior by listening actively and empathetically to people in distress, offering them emotional support without judgment. Their listeners are there for you seven days a week. Call 908.232.2880 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., per volunteer availability, or 800.273.TALK (8255)
Your child can text “Heart” to 741741 to reach the National Text Helpline at any time.
Most will separate in their own way and at their own pace, but some may need more time at home and/or the help of a therapist/counselor. The best thing to do in this situation is to keep an open mind, don’t catastrophize. Explore options with your young person and outline a plan for when s/he is at home and for the future. Let your child know they can come to Counseling Psychological Services for support and an assessment.
Having a roommate is like an arranged marriage. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, your offspring will have a companion, someone to have meals with, someone to confide in, someone to help with the first month’s loneliness. When it’s bad, it can be really, really bad. When your offspring complain (and they will), you will want to listen with a sympathetic ear and you might offer suggestions, but it would be helpful to let your young person know that you have confidence in their ability to problem solve. Your young person can work it out with the roommate, speak to his/her RA, talk with a Dean, or explore ways of handling the situation through the Counseling Center.
Frequently, young people will call home complaining of “depression” and “anxiety”. The symptoms that your offspring describes and the situational factors involved will determine the seriousness of the problem. Most of the time, students are able to cope and work things out for themselves, with a helping ear from mom and/or dad, and sometimes with a counselor. But there are occasions when, depending on what your child is reporting, that direct action must be taken. If, for example, your offspring “hints” or says outright, “I think I’m going to hurt or kill myself,” it is important for the student to get immediate help. Don’t delay. Parents can have the student call the Dean of Students Office (973-408-3390), Counseling and Psychological Services (973-408-3398), or (if it’s after 5 pm) our Public Safety Office (973-408-3379, or the Public Saftety Emergency line 973-408-4444).
Students also have “Big Brothers and Sisters” from the Orientation Committee or a Resident Assistant that they might feel comfortable talking with. If the student is reluctant to contact the Dean or Counseling and Psychological Services, parents can tell their student that they will make the call and we will contact your offspring. If you call, we will reach out to your student and have him/her come in to talk with a counselor. Your student will be informed that you called and that you were very concerned for their safety.
If your child reports having an eating disorder, a drinking problem, or of being sexually assaulted (all of which are hard and sometimes traumatic for parents to hear), it is usually helpful to the student if his/her parents can listen, not judge, and be patient, understanding, and supportive. In any of these situations, parents can encourage their offspring to contact Counseling and Psychological Services.
Emergencies on Campus: 973-408-4444
Dean of Campus Life and Student Affairs: Frank Merckx, 973-408-3391
Counseling and Psychological Services: 973-408-3398
Drew Public Safety: 973-408-3379
Drew Health Service: 973-408-3414
Contact We Care Helpline: 908-232-2880 any time
National Text Helpline: "Hi" to 741741
Morristown Memorial Hospital Helpline: 973-540-0100