Referring Your Student

As young adults make the developmental step of leaving home for school, parents often remain concerned about their student's welfare and safety. Their transition to college marks a shift in family roles and responsibilities, and often adds stressors such as geographic distance and added financial responsibilities. Each student is a unique individual with unique needs they must learn to manage as a member of the University of Southern Mississippi.

There may be times when students will benefit from seeking mental health services. Feel free to encourage your student to seek counseling at Student Counseling Services if you feel they may benefit from discussion of, or simply more information about, any of the following concerns:

  • Feelings of depression including bi-polar symptoms and suicidality
  • Symptoms of anxiety, including social anxiety, and panic attacks
  • Feelings of short-term or chronic stress due to academic, work, or social commitments
  • Motivation, time Management, and procrastination
  • The effects of traumatic experiences such as loss of a loved one, child or domestic abuse, sexual assault, or involvment in an accident or natural disaster
  • Interpersonal concerns such as isolation, homesickness, interpersonal conflicts, and feeling socially over-committed
  • Effects of discrimination based on race, class, gender, ability, or sexual orientation
  • Effects of stress and trauma due to family conflict
  • Alcohol and Drug use
  • Overeating, binge-eating, purging behaviors, orexcessive restriction of eating
  • Anxiety such as test anxiety, performance anxiety or anxiety over public speaking
  • Bizarre experiences, thinking, and confusion
  • Concentration and focusing attention 

In addition, know that we encourage students to contact us for referrals to area providers of psychological assessment, psychiatric evaluation, inpatient mental health hospitalization, intensive outpatient mental health care, and substance abuse recovery resources. We strive to use our expertise to help Southern Miss naviagte the mental health service delivery system. 

You may notice changes in your student's mood or personality during the transition to college. While some changes in interests, mood, and personality are a normal part of transitioning to college, other changes represent signs of a mental health concern that warrant a referral to Student Counseling Services or another mental health provider such as:

  • Disorganized or confused thinking, including difficulty maintaining typical social interactions
  • Marked changes in grades or class attendance
  • Threatening, violent or disruptive behavior
  • Marked weight loss, gain or extreme changes in dietary habits
  • Appearance of chronic fatigue
  • Marked changes in grooming or hygiene
  • Marked changes in alcohol and drug use
  • Discussion of suicide, self harm, or harm to others
  • Racing thoughts, rapid speech, sleeplessness
  • Oversleeping, lack of interest in activities, excessive sadness or tearfulness
  • Experience of a recent trauma or loss
  • Sudden engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors