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The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World The University of Texas at Austin Division of Student Affairs

Parents FAQ

Business Hours:
Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Appointment-Scheduling hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - noon & 1 to 4 p.m.
Phone: (512) 471-3515 - Student Services Building 5th Floor
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What services do you offer to students?
CMHC helps students with their personal concerns so that they can meet the daily challenges of student life. CMHC is staffed by counselors, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals.

When might counseling services be needed?
CMHC offers a variety of services for a wide range of student concerns. We especially recommend that you encourage your daughter/son to seek our services if you notice any of the following symptoms, particularly if they occur on a repeated basis within a short period of time (2-3 weeks):

  • A sudden drop in academic performance, especially for students who generally perform well
  • Difficulty sleeping or getting out of bed nearly every day
  • Feeling sad or appearing tearful nearly every day
  • Social isolation or increased lethargy
  • Expressions of hopelessness, e.g., "What's the point of trying?"
  • Direct or indirect statements about death or suicide, e.g., "What's the point of living?" or "I wish I were dead"
  • Avoidance of certain places or situations, or fear of being alone
  • Increased irritability or restlessness
  • Paranoid thinking or incoherent speech

How do I refer my daughter/son to your services?
Encourage your daughter/son to call us between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to schedule an appointment.

Individual Counseling

Students who indicate they are in crisis will be seen by a counselor that day. Students may also call our CMHC Crisis Line service at 512-471-CALL (2255) (UT Students Only) if they are more comfortable talking to a counselor on the phone.

What should I do if my daughter/son is reluctant to seek counseling?
While counseling is a personal decision, sometimes it can be helpful to encourage a student to talk to a counselor about his or her concerns. It is important to remember that it's ultimately the student's decision to seek help, but the following strategies might help persuade an ambivalent student to consider counseling:

  • Inform your daughter/son that information shared during counseling is confidential to the extent permitted by state law and will not be disclosed without written permission.
  • Remind your daughter/son that she or he can meet with a counselor for one session without committing to ongoing counseling.
  • Reduce the stigma associated with counseling. Tell your daughter/son that our counseling services are regularly used by many students for a variety of concerns and that utilizing counseling services reflects good use of one's resources. Just as it is common to visit a doctor when one has a medical problem, there should be no shame in meeting with a counselor to discuss a personal issue or concern.
  • Suggest that your daughter/son visit CMHC's website to become familiar with our services. Encourage your daughter/son to try our Anonymous Self-Assessment

Is it possible for the counselor to update me on what my daughter/son talks about in counseling?

Not without the student's written consent. Federal and state laws require that counseling conversations and records remain strictly confidential.


Confidentiality also creates a safe environment for students to explore their personal concerns. Hence our staff cannot provide details about the content of counseling or whether a particular student has sought our services without the student's written consent.

Knowing that your son/daughter is in counseling, but not knowing anything about the content of those sessions, can sometimes be challenging for concerned parents. However, it is important to understand that confidentiality is an essential element of the counseling process, as it creates a safe environment for students to discuss their personal concerns openly and honestly.

What should I do if I am very concerned about my son/daughter's physical or emotional safety?

In an emergency or life-threatening situation, call the University of Texas Police Department at 512-471-4441. UT Police officers have been specifically trained to deal with the mental health issues faced by University students. If the student is off-campus, you should instead contact the local police department (e.g., Austin Police Department, 512-974-5000 or dial 911 within city limits).

Another good resource is the University's Behavior Concerns Advice Line

at 512-232-5050. One purpose of the BCAL service is to provide a resource for parents who have concerns about the well-being of a student. When you call the BCAL service, you will be able to consult with a trained University staff member who will assist you in identifying appropriate courses of action.

If you know that your son/daughter has sought counseling at CMHC and you have information of an urgent nature that you wish to communicate to his/her counselor, please call CMHC at 512-471-3515 (M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and ask to speak to the Assistant Director for Clinical Services. Alternatively, you may call the CMHC Crisis Line service 24 hours a day at 512-471-CALL (2255) (UT Students Only). Please note that we may inform your son/daughter that you have contacted us.

Will counseling become part of my son's/daughter's academic record?
No. Our records are confidential and are entirely separate from students' academic records.

Whom should I contact if I have questions or feedback?
Please contact us directly at 512-471-3515 if you have questions or feedback about our services.

What should I do if my student is withdrawing from UT?
Reasons for choosing to withdraw from the university are many and varied. To find supportive resources for your student as they’re going through the process, visit the Texas One Stop website.

Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list, and the community resources listed are not affiliated with The University of Texas at Austin.

Texas Parents is a resource dedicated to helping parents help their students. Don’t hesitate to call Texas Parents at 512-471-2353 with questions. Parents can also join the Texas Parents Association, the official parents’ association of UT Austin, to receive exclusive communications and member benefits.

Information for Parents

Parent Resources

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