When your student flies from your nest to ours

Going away to college is many Skyhawks’ first transition away from their friends and family. The Counseling Center supports your student as FLC's primary mental health resource with individual and group counseling and other services.

Check out other on-campus resources that support your student, like Student Wellness and Student Engagement.

You can call our office with concerns, but we cannot confirm or deny a student’s use of the Counseling Center. It is also rare we reach out to students first. However, we will work with you to figure out how to support your student.

FLC Family Program

Our Family Program works to keep you engaged with a newsletter and Facebook group as well as events when possible.

College Parents of America

National association for college families, providing advocacy, discounts, and informational resources.

The Jed Foundation

This foundation helps families reduce emotional distress and suicide among higher ed students.

A student in a yellow Skyhawk shirt walks on campus in the fall

Conversations before school starts

If you haven’t already, try talking with your student about the following topics.

  • How have you handled stress in the past? How can you adapt this to life at FLC?
  • Who will you talk with if you start having a hard time? (Remind them that you’re available, but who else can they turn to?)
  • If your student has had mental health treatment in the past or is already familiar with counseling services, talk about the Counseling Center at FLC as a possible resource.
  • Get clear about being in touch. Some families come up with a communication plan. How often do you expect to hear from your student? A weekly call? A daily text?  

Support after school starts

Be a resource, not a rescuer

Resist the urge to rescue.

Problems are inevitable. Roommates can be difficult, professors can be challenging, and homesickness or loneliness can overwhelm. You can help them most by encouraging them to consider their options of how they can work through challenges.

Remind your student about resources for support on campus, including faculty, advisors, coaches, residence hall assistants (RAs), and peer counseling.

Care packages show caring

Students love packages in the mail!

You can include their favorite cookies or food, family pictures, newspaper articles, magazines, rolls of quarters for laundry, and toiletries.


Be a cheerleader!

College life brings its share of problems and challenges. It helps your student to know they have someone who thinks they are the best.

Celebrate their accomplishments and remind them how proud you are.


Talk about staying in touch.

Be sure your student knows their mobile device plan's details (limits and costs). Let your student know when you are unavailable by phone, email, or text message.

Please encourage them to spend in-person time with their new FLC friends and use the phone for their back-home friends.

Family happenings, not family problems

Sharing family events

While sharing family life events keeps your student connected to their family and reminds them that they belong, bringing your student into family problems tends to drain their ability to focus on their life as a student.

Consider the impact of what you’re telling them and look for a balance between hiding things from them and burdening them.

Handling messages of distress

The 2 a.m. phone call

Sometime next year, you might get a call with your student crying about how much this place sucks. They want you to come get them immediately and take them home.

Remember: big feelings come, and then they pass. When your student is away, you might only hear their big feelings. You likely do not need to get in the car and get them.

Use the judgment you've developed over the years to listen, offer reassurance, and let them know you care.

Counseling Center

Location: 260 Noble Hall

Local Crisis Hotline: 970-247-5245
Email: counselingcenter@fortlewis.edu


Fall/Winter Terms:
8 a.m. - noon, 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday

8 a.m. - noon, 1-5 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday