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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Recognizing Signs That May Warrant Counseling

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The college years are filled with exciting opportunities and stressful challenges. For some students, personal, developmental, or psychological challenges may arise during their time at Minnesota State Mankato, and such challenges may jeopardize their ability to succeed academically. While most students successfully cope, some students may become overwhelmed and their ability to function academically, personally, and socially is compromised.
As a parent, you may have concerns about your son or daughter's psychological well-being.  The list below outlines behavioral changes or stressful events in students' lives which may warrant counseling. 

Trauma or Crisis in Relationships

  • Break-up or change in relationship status
  • Loss or illness of a family member or close friend
  • Conflict with roommate, friend, or family
  • Victim of assault

Unusual Behavior or Marked Change in Behavior

  • Listlessness
  • Disruptive or threatening behavior
  • Changes in appearance, including weight and hygiene
  • Extreme mood changes or excessive, inappropriate display of emotion
  • Sudden withdrawal from people or excessive sleep
  • Hyperactivity, chronic irritability, or excessive anxiety
  • Confusion, disorientation, or bizarre behavior

Problems with Academic Performance

  • Poor academic performance and preparation, especially if such behavior represents a change from previous functioning
  • Test or speech anxiety
  • Confusion over low performance

Harmful Statements or Behaviors

  • Overt references to suicide or statements of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Indications of persistent or prolonged unhappiness
  • Extreme risk-taking behavior

Substance Abuse

  • Evidence of excessive use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Impaired daily functioning secondary to substance use (e.g., not attending classes, not going to work)
It is important to note that if your son or daughter is experiencing one of the behavioral changes or stressful events from the above list, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is in significant distress. However, if your student’s concerns appear to be severe, or you notice one or more behavioral changes over a prolonged period of time, then it may be necessary to intervene and seek professional help. Your son or daughter can make an appointment to see a counselor by visiting or calling the Counseling Center at 285 Centennial Student Union, 507-389-1455.  If you are at all concerned for your son or daughter’s personal safety, call  911 or campus security, 507-389-2111.