Parents and Families
Welcome to Tuttleman Counseling Services (TCS)!
Welcome! We are so glad you are taking the time to familiarize yourself with our services, and we look forward to meeting your student should they require our assistance at any time during their exciting and important student years.Your student’s college years may be a transition both for your student and also for you. It is natural for there to be awkwardness along the way as you and your student navigate their new levels of responsibility and independence. We invite you to be patient both with yourself and with your student, as there will likely be adjusting on both ends. We are also confident that your student will still need and benefit from your support and involvement throughout their college years and beyond!
It is also natural to feel both immense pride and happiness about your student being in college, as well as concern and sadness about the associated changes. We encourage you to reach out – to family, friends, or mental health professionals – for your own support if you need help at this time. We also hope that this time can be an opportunity for you to connect more deeply with hobbies, interests, and relationships.
Please use the appropriate links to find information about our services and how we support your student. We wish you and your student the very best in your time as Owls. Welcome to the Temple University family!
Tuttleman Counseling Services (TCS) is ready and available to help your student adjust to and manage life here at Temple University. We are experienced in helping students with a wide range of concerns. We provide culturally sensitive and inclusive mental health services that support the psychological health and academic success of the diverse community of Temple students. All currently-enrolled Temple undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students may use the services at TCS. Students who visit us will become increasingly self-aware, more effective at assessing and communicating their needs, more able to cultivate meaning and connection with others, and better equipped to develop practical skills that serve them throughout their lives.
There are no fees for any assistance provided by TCS. TCS offers a variety of services, including short-term individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, yoga and meditation, and psychiatric services. We can provide specialized services for addictions and substance use, sexual assault, and eating and body image concerns.
TCS also houses the Resiliency Resource Center, which offers students meditation and mindfulness exercises, relaxation activities, biofeedback, bright light therapy, chair massage, workbooks, and many other resources. To see a video introduction to the Resiliency Resource Center, please click here.
TCS also provides consultations to students, family, friends, faculty, and staff. If you are concerned about your student, we are happy to discuss the nature of your concern with you, ways to help you intervene with your student, and options that are available to help you handle the situation. We also assist with referrals to mental health resources both on campus and in the local area. Sometimes students feel more comfortable receiving services off campus, or they are best served by specialized, longer-term, or more intensive services than TCS is able to offer. Students interested in referrals can come into TCS to meet with a counselor, or utilize our user-friendly referral database.
To initiate any of TCS’ services, students must register Monday – Friday, from 10:00am – 1:30pm. After completing the registration forms, an initial assessment is done by a TCS counselor, and a plan best suited to meet your student’s needs and goals is created. Individual counseling at TCS may or may not be identified as a good fit for your student at this time.
TCS is located on the second floor of 1700 N. Broad Street, in the same building as Student Health Services. We are available Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Confidentiality is maintained in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Most commonly, all information shared in services at TCS is kept confidential. However, counselors may need to break confidentiality if:
- Your student is a danger to themselves or others, or threatens to cause serious and specific harm to another person,
- A child, disabled adult, or elderly person is being abused or neglected, or
- Records are subpoenaed or court-ordered.
Parents and other family members, faculty, staff, administration, and outside individuals and agencies do not have access to a student’s TCS records without written permission from the student. We truly understand that you may wish to know about your student’s engagement with us, and if your student provides written permission, we are happy to consult with you. However, without your student’s written permission, we cannot discuss your student’s treatment or even if your student has been seen by us. If your student has not provided written permission but you are concerned about your student and would like to share information with us, you may do so, with the understanding that we cannot provide any information back and that whatever you share with us can be shared with your student.
You are always welcome to contact us for general information about our services, for information about referring your student to us, and for guidance on how best to support your student. Additionally, if your student is under 18 or a dependent adult, then you must provide consent for services, and we may speak directly with you.
Talking About Mental Health
Talking with your Student about Mental Health
We want to emphasize a very important resource for your student’s wellbeing: YOU! Speaking to your student directly about mental health concerns can have a huge, helpful impact on them. Here are some tips for how to talk with your student successfully:
- Talk to your student as soon as you notice something unusual or concerning about their behavior.
- Indicate the specific behavior(s) causing you concern, and express your concern in a caring manner. For example, “I notice you’ve been sleeping between 10-12 hours. This is unlike you, and I’m concerned about you. I care about you, and I’m here to support you.”
- Talk to them in a private setting, when you both have enough time and energy for a conversation.
- Ask open-ended questions, such as, “How have you been feeling about your friendships lately?”
- Listen attentively to what your student says, and try to respond without judgment or criticism.
- Asking how you can help goes a long way. Sometimes, your student may want advice, but other times, they may just want you to listen and understand, for example by saying, “That sounds very painful.”
- Try not to under- or over-react. Your student experiencing a mental health concern is not a catastrophe, but it also needs to not be ignored.
- Follow up on how your student is doing and if their situation is improving.
- Encourage your student that there is hope and that they will, in all likelihood, feel better with care, support, and action.
- Help your student to define the problem they are facing and generate possible ways to handle it. Avoid the temptation to just solve it for them. Ask them their solutions before offering your own.
- Know your limits as a helper. Family can do a great deal, but sometimes, professional help and expertise are needed, and this does not mean anything bad about you or your student. Encourage your student to reach out to us if their needs go beyond what you can provide. Be clear about why you think mental health services could help them.
- Encourage your student that seeking help when it is needed is positive. You may wish to share with your student that many Temple students come to see us, for a variety of reasons.
- Once you have suggested mental health services, allow your student to make their own decision about engaging, except in emergency situations. Ask directly if your student is thinking about harming themselves or others. For example, “Are you thinking about suicide?” If you believe your student is in imminent danger of harming themselves or others, please call Campus Safety Services (215–204–1234) or 9-1-1.
Benefitting From Mental Health?
Could Your Student Benefit from Mental Health Services?
Students come to TCS for a variety of reasons, including help coping with the demands and stresses of being a student, learning effective relationship skills, managing symptoms of anxiety and depression and various other conditions, and learning more about themselves. Below, we outline in more detail instances when TCS services may be recommended for your student. Additionally, we are happy to consult with you about whether our services could be appropriate for your student and to help you take the most appropriate steps.
- Difficulty concentrating on assignments and/or in class
- Fear of failure
- Decline in academic performance
- Excessive missed assignments
- Excessive absences from classes, exams, and/or other activities
- Confusion or uncertainty about interests, abilities, values, goals, major, career
- Excessive sleeping
- Listlessness, lack of energy, frequent complaints about fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive eating
- Restriction and/or purge behaviors
- Preoccupation and/or rigidity with food and/or body image
- Dramatic weight loss or gain
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Other risky choices with alcohol and/or other drugs
- Grappling with identities and/or reactions to them from others
- Problems in relationships with family members and/or peers
- Painful losses
- Extreme isolation
- Dependence on one relationship at the expense/neglect of previously important other relationships
- Extreme dependence on family (for example, extremely long/distressing phone calls or visits home)
- Aggressive or threatening behavior
- Abuse, assault, other types of violence
- Excessive panic and/or fear
- Statements of pessimism, helplessness, hopelessness, purposelessness, despair
- Prolonged distractibility, apathy, sadness
- Excessive crying
- Unusual agitation
- Extreme mood changes and/or inappropriate displays of emotion
- Outbursts of anger
- Extreme mood elevation
- Poor personal hygiene
- Impaired speech and/or disjointed/confused thoughts
- Bizarre behavior and/or speech indicating loss of contact with reality
- Direct and/or indirect references to harming self or others
Other Mental Health Alternatives
If Your Student is Struggling but Chooses not to Utilize Mental Health Services
We understand that for a variety of reasons, students may choose not to utilize mental health services but could still benefit from support. Students are welcome to complete an anonymous and confidential mental health screening, which will show them their results, recommendations, and key resources.
Additionally, your student may benefit from the many other readily available support services offered by Temple to assist students with a range of difficulties:
Student in Crisis
A mental health emergency or crisis can be any situation in which a person’s behavior puts them at risk of hurting themselves or others and/or prevents them from being able to care for themselves or function effectively. If your student is experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis, there are several options:
TCS can be reached at 215 – 204 – 7276. During business hours, a professional counselor is always available for consultation and assistance with an emergency. This counselor will provide your student with immediate care and work with them to form a plan to get through this difficult time. Please note that TCS does not do outreach to students, since our services must be entered into voluntarily. If you are concerned about your student, we advise you to encourage them to register with us during registration hours (Mon - Fri; 10am-1:30pm) to initiate services and receive further support. Students residing in Temple residences can also contact their RA or RD for assistance.
Our After-Hours Support and Crisis Line can help your student when Tuttleman Counseling Services is closed. Call 215-204-7276. When calling after hours, please listen to the recording and press "1" when instructed. You will be connected with a mental health professional who will help support you and identify resources, if appropriate. You can also contact TUPD (215-204-1234) and they will transfer you to the mental health crisis service.
In addition, there are a number of services that run 24-hours a day, and these should be contacted instead of TCS during non-business hours in the event of an emergency. Temple Police can be reached at 215 – 204 – 1234. Temple’s Episcopal Hospital Crisis Response Center, located at 100 E. Lehigh Avenue, can be reached at 215 – 707 – 2577. Students that require assistance off-campus should dial 9-1-1 or go to their nearest emergency room. Additionally, there are a number of hotlines available for students to speak with someone immediately.
The Crisis Assessment Response and Education (CARE) Team is a special team of individuals from across the University who meet weekly to discuss how to best support students with serious problems and/or safety concerns. The group works diligently to find solutions to potentially dangerous situations by getting students the help and services they need and/or by confronting inappropriate or threatening behavior. The CARE Team can be reached at 215 – 204 – 7188 or by making an online referral. Once a referral is made, The CARE Team may do outreach to your student. Please note that The CARE Team is not for emergencies requiring immediate assistance. When immediate assistance is needed, TUPD or 9-1-1 should be contacted.
We are here for your student, and we are also here for you! We hope that these resources can be of help as you and your student navigate the college journey together.