Counseling Services - Information for Parents/Guardians

First Year Student with her Parents

What is the role of counseling services at Manchester University?

Our goal is to be a supportive resource available to enrolled students at MU when they encounter something that is getting in the way of their academic success. Our services are free and confidential, which means that we cannot release information to parents unless the student has signed a release for us to do so. 

I am the parent, why can’t I talk with you about what is going on with my student?

Counselors may receive information from parents/guardians or friends who would like to share information with us. We are unable, without a signed release, to exchange information regarding a student’s sessions or even share information about whether a student is attending counseling. Information you share with us from your perspective is valued and appreciated. Although it can be challenging not to know what is happening, part of going to college is also beginning to manage life as an independent adult. As counseling staff our goal is to help the student to be successful academically and personally. Students may invite parents/guardians to attend a session with them if that would be helpful.

I think my student would benefit by talking to a counselor, how do I get them to come see you?

We cannot “make” students meet with a counselor, but we are willing to invite them, or parents can remind students that the counseling resource is available on campus. Remind your student that our services are free, confidential, and they may make an appointment by emailing or calling the office at 260-982-5888 or come by our office (2nd floor, Jo Young Switzer Center, Success Center.) No problem is too big or too small, if a student is feeling like something is getting in the way of them being successful at Manchester University, they are welcome to meet with one of the counseling staff to talk through the concern. Students can even make an appointment just to check out the service to help them know IF they want to come in for a session.

Faculty, student leaders, coaches, and staff are all great at assisting students to connect with counseling resources and noticing when a student may benefit from talking to someone. 

My student was meeting with a counselor weekly before coming to Manchester University. Can they meet with one of the MU counseling staff weekly?

Manchester University counseling staff are able to offer up to 8 sessions per semester to our enrolled students. This works out to approximately every other week.  We are happy to assist students to get connected to local resources for additional counseling should they need that level of support. We have some students who prefer that, as well as there are occasionally students who will meet regularly with a community mental health counselor and see MU counseling staff as needed or every other week. We are willing to assist your student to identify a plan that will work best.

My student does not have a car; how will they get to their counseling appointments off campus? 

For students who do not have a car, they may arrange transportation through the Wabash County Transit for transportation needs within Wabash County.

My student was hospitalized previously for a mental health concern, I am worried what will happen if they need hospitalization again.

We encourage parents to talk with their students about what to do if they need medical care of any type while away at school at Manchester University. We have university counseling staff and a university nurse, however, there are times when students may need more care than available through the university staff. In addition, medical needs, including those regarding mental health, may not happen during business hours of the university.

Our university safety staff and our residential life staff are also available to our students after hours. Please talk with your student about medical care in the area and where you prefer they go, particularly if your insurance has specifications.  You or your student may call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card and learn about preferred providers in the immediate area of North Manchester, Indiana. Many insurance companies are also offering remote access through a video conference; please check with your provider. If you do not have medical insurance, 85 Hope Medical Clinic ( is available to students.   Students are encouraged to visit their website or call prior to going to the clinic.  Manchester University counseling or nursing staff can also assist with making this connection.

If it is a mental health emergency that involves an immediate risk for a student’s safety or the safety of others, our local police department will come to our campus (an EMS may also come to provide service to the student if there is a fear that the student may have ingested something/or something has happened that places their life at risk). An assessment for safety will be made by the police and/or medical authorities and if it is assessed that the student needs immediate care, the student will be transported by the local police (or EMS) to the local Wabash County Parkview Emergency Room for evaluation. If inpatient mental health care is needed, then this will typically occur at Parkview Behavioral Health in Fort Wayne, IN which is about 45 minutes from campus. 

Do many students take advantage of counseling services at Manchester University and if yes, how many, what do they seek counseling for, do they see someone a lot?

About 10-12% of our population participate in counseling services. This is typical of higher education universities across the country.   Some students come just once or twice, others may come more regularly.  Our average is for a student to see a counselor two times in a semester. Anxiety is the number one reason students seek out counseling (which again is typical across colleges across the country). Depression is another common reason.  Other concerns that may bring a student in to speak with a counselor: suicidal thoughts, death of a loved one at home (or illness of loved one at home), lack of motivation, ADD, break-ups, gender questioning, missing home and places of familiarity (places where they felt competent and a “fit”), uncertain what they want to be in the future and feeling like they “should know”, roommate challenges, etc. 

We encourage students to arrange an appointment if something is getting in the way of them being successful at MU, particularly if they are feeling “stuck”. It is hard to ask for help, but no one should feel alone as they seek to work through something that is bothering them. A confidential resource, such as a counselor, can be a great help to many.