Frequently Asked Questions
Please call our office at (828) 262-3180 if you have any questions or feedback for us.
No. Our records are confidential and are entirely separate from students’ academic record.
Yes. Students can reach our emergency on-campus, after-hours support service by calling the Counseling Center at (828) 262-3180 and selecting the option to speak with the counselor on call.
Yes. Confidentiality is one of our utmost concerns. Any information obtained during the course of our involvement with your student will remain confidential. There are a few exceptions to our confidentiality policy, and more information can be found on our Notice of Privacy Practices (pdf).
Appalachian State University's Counseling Center helps students with their personal concerns so that they can meet the daily challenge of student life. Staffed by counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals, our services are offered free of charge to registered AppState students.
The Counseling Center offers a variety of services for a wide range of student concerns. We especially recommend that you encourage your student to seek our services if you notice any of the following symptoms, particularly if they occur on a repeated basis within a short period of time (2-3 weeks):
- A sudden drop in academic performance, especially for students who generally perform well
- Difficulty sleeping or getting out of bed nearly every day
- Feeling sad or appearing tearful nearly every day
- Social isolation or increased lethargy
- Expression of hopelessness, e.g. "Whats the point of trying?"
- Direct or indirect statements about death or suicide, e.g. "Whats the point of living?" or "I wish I were dead."
- Avoidance of certain places or situations, or fear of being alone
- Increased irritability or restlessness
- Paranoid thinking or incoherent speech
Encourage your student to call us between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment. A counselor will see students who indicate they are in crisis that day. The Counseling Center offers after-hours, on-campus emergency coverage (when school is in session during the fall and spring semesters) for trauma and life-threatening situations such as suicide and sexual assault. To activate the system, call the Campus Police Department at (828) 262-2150.
While counseling is a personal decision, sometimes it can be helpful to encourage a student to talk to a counselor about his or her concerns. It is important to remember that it is ultimately the student's decision to seek help, but the following strategies might help persuade an ambivalent student to consider counseling:
- Inform your student that information shared during counseling is confidential to the extent permitted by state law and will not be disclosed without written permission.
- Remind your student that they can meet with a counselor for one session without committing to ongoing counseling.
- Reduce the stigma associated with counseling. Tell your student that our counseling services are regularly used by many students for a variety of concerns and that utilizing counseling services reflects good use of one's resources. Just as it is common to visit a doctor when one has a medical problem, there should be no shame in meeting with a counselor to discuss a personal issue or concern.
- Suggest that your student visit the AppState Counseling Center website or the Counseling Center's Facebook page to better understand the scope of our services.
Not without the students written consent. Federal and state laws require that counseling conversations and records remain strictly confidential.
Confidentiality also creates a safe environment for student to explore their personal concerns. Therefore, our staff cannot provide details about the content of counseling or whether a particular student has sought our services without the student's written consent.
Knowing that your son/daughter is in counseling, but not knowing anything about the content of those sessions, can sometimes be challenging for concerned parents. However, it is important to understand that confidentiality is an essential element of the counseling process, as it creates a safe environment for students to discuss their personal concerns openly and honestly.
Encourage your student to call or visit the Counseling Center. The Counseling Center offers after-hours, on-campus emergency coverage. To activate the system, call the Counseling Center at (828) 262-3180 and select the option to speak with the counselor on call.
Feel free to call or email any of our staff. Their contact information can be found under the General Information section of this website.
No, counseling is confidential except in unusual circumstances involving protection of life or where otherwise required by law. Other university officials ordinarily have no information about what goes on in counseling or who visits the Counseling Center.
No, the Counseling Center is not a psychiatric clinic. We believe that most students can learn new strategies through counseling to help them cope more effectively with their problems.
Yes, for any session beyond initial crisis counseling, we will need a parent or guardian's written authorization.
Students make their own appointments. At the first visit to the Counseling Center, the student completes information forms before meeting with a counselor. During the initial interview, the counselor begins an assessment of the student's needs and the ways in which the Counseling Center might be able to help. If the student and the counselor agree that further counseling is appropriate, the student may be offered short-term individual counseling on campus. Some students are referred to other campus service departments or to community resources for specialized or continued counseling. Others may leave the initial interview feeling able to handle their problems on their own. Students can return to the Center if additional services would be useful.
On-campus counseling services are free and are confidential by law. What that means for you, as a parent, is that counselors cannot say whether or not they have met with your student. You may share any concerns or information with a counselor, but unless the counselor has written permission from a student he or she cannot provide specific information in return. However, a counselor can listen to your concerns and discuss options and/or resources with you. Remember, talking directly to your student is often the best way to understand what is going on in their life, and to express your concern and care for them.
Without your student's consent, we can neither confirm nor deny that they are a client at the Counseling Center or if we have seen them. We advise that you ask your student directly and encourage more open communication with them.
If you feel that it is vital for you to learn whether the student came to the Counseling Center, ask the student to sign a release of information form when they are here, giving us permission to confirm with you that they came in.
Realize that confidentiality creates a safe environment for students to explore their personal concerns. However, if you believe you have information to share with us that might assist us in helping your student we invite you to contact us.
In the case that your student is exhibiting signs of being homicidal or suicidal, suggesting that he or she is dangerous to him or herself and/or others, we would break confidentiality in order to assist your student in staying safe. In such situations, we might contact you to assist us in this process. If you are ever concerned about the safety of your student, we encourage you to contact us during business hours (M - F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) at (828) 262-3180 or after hours by calling the Counseling Center at (828) 262-3180 and selecting the option to speak with the counselor on call.
The Counseling Center offers after-hours emergency coverage for urgent mental health concerns such as suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, and other trauma. Call the Counseling Center at 828-262-3180 and select the option to speak with the counselor on-call.
During operating hours, students in crisis can walk in any time.