Stop the Stigma – Parents

The Counseling Center was honored to receive support from the Student Success Fund this year for the Stop the Stigma program.

Our goal is to raise awareness of mental health issues at NC State, help students understand how common these issues are, help every student benefit from the treatment available at NC State and in the larger community.

College students often discuss their personal and emotional concerns with family, friends, or professors.  This means that you are in a unique position to help your student and your student’s peers get help. We are asking you to join with us in this effort to support those in need. Together, we can make your student’s campus healthier, more productive, and a better learning environment.

We thank you in advance for your commitment to our students.

Decreasing Stigma in Your Family

Begin by reading this website!  Educate yourself on college student mental health. Learn about Counseling Center resources: visit our website, visit our Center when you are on campus, call us and ask about our services.

When talking with your student, you can….

  • Encourage interpersonal responsibility and coping skill development through teaching life skills including self-advocacy, help-seeking, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, goal setting, financial skills & conflict resolution.
  • Encourage exposure to Counseling Services:
  • Suggest to your student that he or she attend one of our outreach programs or support groups. We have groups discussing common issues such as academic concerns, relationships, stress management, and mindfulness. Check with your student about stress, depression, anxiety, and other concerns, and respond calmly and with support if difficulties are revealed.
  • Encourage and teach “bystander” interventions: Help your student find ways to help friends and other peers who may be struggling.  For many reasons, students have difficulty with help-seeking.  Every expression of encouragement or support can help.  Remind your student that he or she does not have to solve the friend’s problems; just help the friend consider counseling.
  • Talk about the value of self-care and mental health openly.  The more open the discussion, the less stigma.

Multicultural Considerations

NC State welcomes students from every cultural and identity group. We understand that mental health issues can be understood differently in different cultures, and we respect and support each student with that understanding. At the Counseling Center, we make a special effort to reach out to those students who are under-served, and we welcome all suggestions regarding effective ways to reach out and serve every student.

Recognizing Signs of Distress, Crisis, or Threat:  When is immediate help needed?

How to help a student get help

If in mild to moderate distress (no safety concerns):

  • Talk to them about your concerns & recommend that they come by or check out the website: (our web “hits” doubled in the past year).
  • Offer to come with them if they want. Be sure to explain what to expect and that counseling is free and confidential.
  • Check in with the student later to see how they are doing (this is very important to them).
  • If they choose not to go to the Counseling Center, don’t be pushy…it often takes a few referrals to get them in. Have an open-door policy and be there to support them.

If in severe distress or crisis (safety concerns are present):

  • During business hours (8-5) call (919.515.2423) or walk the student over to the Counseling Center. After hours, call at 919.515.2423 and select the option to speak to the counselor on-call.
  • Speak with the counselor on-call about the situation. The counselor will usually then speak with the student.
  • Stay with the student until the counselor or campus police arrives. Use reflective/active listening. Reassure them that the counselor will be there to help them.
  • If you are not with the student, call the Counseling Center (919.515.2423), Student Behavioral Case Manager (919.515.2963) or Violence Prevention and Threat Management (919.513.4224 or 919.513.4315) to consult.
  • If at any time the situation becomes an emergency, call campus police at 919.515.3000 or 911 from campus.

What About Academics?

  • Research supports the idea that mental health treatment enhances academic performance and completion of college.
  • If mental health issues, or treatment for mental health issues, temporarily interfere with academic functioning,  the Student Ombuds Service (SOS) is available to help any student resolve these difficulties.  This includes issues such as missed work, missed classes, or need for specific types of services. Appointments can be made by calling 919.515.2963 or 919.512.7204 (confidential voicemail) or by email. Learn more at

Mental health issues are also protected under the American with Disabilities Act.  Students requiring specific accommodations are encouraged to seek them through the Office of Disability Services. Learn more through their website.