Your student may have left home, but you are still a significant resource for them. Studies show that parents are the first resource students turn to in the case of health concerns! Friends, web resources, college health centers are much further down the list. Parents are also at the top of the list in terms of being a behavior influencer – yes, they were listening all these years.
Here are some resources and suggestions for you can continue to support your student while they’re at Macalester.
Setting things up
- Talk to them. Set up communication expectations. Let them know that they can contact you about anything at any time. They need to know you are there and will not judge.
- Don’t rush to fix things. Help them figure it out for themselves. This is a life-long skill.
- Provide the basics – insurance card, self-care products, help them get established with a provider in the Twin Cities in the case of chronic or specialty needs (referrals available from the Hamre Center if needed).
- Know the resources at the Macalester you can direct your student to (or for you to contact if you have questions).
- Teach them how to fill a prescription, what to do for basic self-care, how insurance works, when to go to urgent care and when to go to the emergency room. This is adulting 101 and they will greatly appreciate it when the time comes to use that information.
- Make sure they know the off-campus resources for those evening, weekend, and “can’t wait for an appointment at the Hamre Center” situations.
What to do if you are concerned about your student
There may be a time when your parental “6th sense” is alerted and you feel your student is at risk or needs additional assistance.
- Consults are available from the Hamre Center for Health & Wellness. We can’t talk about your student directly (privacy restrictions if 18+) but we can advise you on how to coach your student or direct them to the right resources.
- If your student’s health concern is significantly impacting their studies or you are concerned about their safety, contact the Office of Student Affairs (651-696-6220). If it is life-threatening, you can call Campus Security at 651-696-6555 and they will respond and let appropriate support people know. There are senior student affairs staff on-call 24/7 should students need support beyond, or in conjunction with, residential life and security.
Some things you might want to know
- Transportation: Rideshares can be provided in an urgent situation and at no cost to the student. If they need to get to urgent or emergency care but don’t have access to a car, are too sick for the bus, or don’t have the money for an Uber/Lyft, we will arrange transportation to and from the health care provider. Residential Life staff and other campus support units can also arrange transportation.
- 24/7 phone counseling: “Press 2”, our 24/7 phone counseling is available to all students at no charge. This service is familiar with Macalester and our protocols and sends a report to the Hamre Center for each call. The student can give their name or be anonymous. In the case of a life-threatening situation, ProtoCall will contact Macalester security and 911. Students can request to be contacted by the Hamre Center as a follow-up.
- Walk-In Hours: There are walk-in hours every day for both counseling and medical. Counseling drop-in hours vary by the day of the week. Medical staff have walk-in hours every day, M-F, from 1 pm – 3 pm, first come, first served.
- Privacy: As noted above, if your student is 18 years old or over, we will be unable to share any information about your student, not even to acknowledge if they have been seen in our clinic. HIPAA and FERPA laws have established that. If your student wants us to talk to you, they can fill out a form that gives the Hamre Center permission to talk to you and what we can discuss. There is not a blanket release form – it is typically done by each presenting concern and has a time limit (generally one year). This is where all the work you have done in agreeing about communication comes in handy.
Additional resources that you might find helpful
- NAMI/JED Guide to starting a conversation about college and mental health
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- How to Help Look After Your College Student’s Health