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Family and Friends

Parent Warmline

Warmline: A Non-Emergency Consultation Service
Phone Number: (301) 314-7651

Parents, guardians, and other loved ones who have concerns about their UMD student may consult with a mental health professional by calling the Parent Warmline at the University of Maryland Counseling Center. Therapists are available to discuss concerns related to students’ personal, social, and academic challenges. Callers can explore options for helping their students resolve the problems. This might include directing them to seek help at the Counseling Center, where free individual counseling and group counseling are available. The Parent Warmline also can assist with referrals to off-campus mental health providers.

What types of student-related concerns have been discussed by Warmline callers?

  • Signs of anxiety and depression
  • Assistance with encouraging a student to seek mental health treatment
  • Inability to select a major
  • Substance use
  • Social withdrawal or difficulty making friends
  • Students expressing thoughts of suicide

What if my concern for a student appears to be an immediate emergency?

Please note that the warm line is not a crisis line. If you know of someone who is at immediate risk to self or others, please call the UMD campus police department at 911 (from on-campus phone) or (301) 405-3333 (from off-campus phone) or assist the person in getting to the nearest hospital emergency room.

How do I contact the Warmline?

Call the Counseling Center at (301) 314-7651 and ask to speak with a counselor about your student-related concern. The person answering your call will ask for your identifying information (e.g., name, telephone number) and a brief description of your concern. The information will be given to the Warmline counselor, who will contact you within 24 hours of your call.

When is the Warmline available?

You may contact the Warmline during our regular hours of operation by calling (301) 314-7651.

Can I make an appointment for my student?

Appointments are made by the student. The student can either call the Counseling Center at (301) 314-7651 or come to Shoemaker Building to schedule an appointment.

Can I access my student counseling records?

Counseling Center records are confidential. The Counseling Center follows professional ethical standards and all state and federal laws regarding confidentiality. Your student’s written permission is necessary before any information about Counseling Center appointments can be released.

Who is eligible?

Any registered University of Maryland undergraduate or graduate student is able to receive services.

Do you prescribe medication?

No, the Counseling Center does not prescribe medication. However, we can provide referrals to psychiatrists at the Health Center or psychiatrists in off-campus practices.

How much does it cost to use the Counseling Center?

Counseling Center services are free to registered UMD students.

Who are the therapists?

The Counseling Center has a professional staff licensed psychologists, care managers, initial access counselors, and four doctoral psychology interns.

How many sessions does the Counseling Center provide?

Students are eligible for up to eight sessions of individual counseling per 12-month period.

There is no limit to the number of group therapy sessions a student may attend. Some groups begin in the fall semester and continue through the spring semester. See the Group Counseling page for groups currently being offered.

A student who needs long-term counseling may be referred to the Care Manager who can help locate a therapist off campus.

What are some reasons that students come to the Counseling Center?

Students come to the Counseling Center with a variety of concerns including adjustment concerns, depression, anxiety, loneliness, career indecision, identity concerns, stress management, interpersonal relationship difficulties, grief and loss, procrastination, family issues, etc.

Where are you located?

The Counseling Center is located in the Shoemaker Building.

Parents and Family of New UMD Students
Starting college is a time of transition that comes with exciting new experiences, which may present challenges not only for students but also their parents and family. When your student goes off to college, it will be helpful to consider that you will both encounter changes that may require adjustment to your usual way of navigating your relationship.

Parents and family of new college students commonly worry about how well their student will manage college-level academic work and whether they will develop a supportive social group. Also, although parents and family may recognize that entering college coincides with entering adulthood and the development of new interests, values, and beliefs, they may experience anxiety about these changes as well as changes in their relationships with their young student.

Tips for Parents and Family

  • Stay in touch and communicate openly. Express interest in your student's life at college while being respectful of their independence. Be an active listener in the conversation. Your student may do things differently than you did at the same age--and that is okay. UMD students are on a campus with immense resources and support to aid in the process of navigating their growing autonomy.
  • Offer support in a nonjudgmental way. If you are concerned about your student, share your concern without conveying judgment. If you are asked for help or advice, offer it. Be wary of offering too much advice if it isn’t asked for. Consider discussing observations and feelings rather than opinions and advice.
  • Empower students to help themselves. When your student is experiencing a problem, allow them to take an active and equal role in the problem-solving process. This will promote the development of the skills and confidence to tackle tough issues independently.
  • Be aware of the common concerns new students face. If your student is struggling to figure out this big campus, make new friends, stay on top of classwork, or develop a sense of belonging at college, offer reassurance that this is a normal experience for new UMD students. Be prepared to suggest some of the campus resources designed to address these concerns.
  • Be realistic about grades. The transition to college-level coursework is difficult, so students who excelled in high school may struggle with academics in college. Be supportive rather than punitive if your student is struggling and direct them to the many academic resources on campus. Keep in mind that it is common for students to switch majors and take more than 4 years to graduate.
  • Ask for help. Seek assistance or counseling for yourself when you feel challenged by the tough transition to college. You can serve as a model for help-seeking that may encourage your student to do the same.


If you notice that a friend or loved one is struggling or you are concerned about changes in their behavior, attitudes, health, hygiene, academic performance, or interpersonal interactions, you can offer support and remind them of the resources available on campus to seek help. There are a number of common concerns that college students face, that it may be helpful to be aware of when assistance a fellow UMD student.

Kognito offers an online training simulation for UMD students to practice skills for helping friends and peers who are experiencing mental health concerns. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional about how to help a fellow UMD student, you can come to the Counseling Center or call us at (301) 314-7651.

I’ll Miss You Too: The Off-To-College Guide for Parents and Students
By Margo E. Woodacre MSW and Steffany Bane Carey

The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only: A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience
By Harlan Cohen

50 Tips for College Success: What Freshman Students and Parents Need to Know.
By Carter Johnson and Stephanie Phillips

You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here if You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years
By Marjorie Savage

Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years
By Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger

The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up
By Barbara K. Hoefer and Abigail Sullivan Moore

Refeathering the Empty Nest: Life After the Children Leave
By Wendy Aronsson

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
By F. Bruni

The Price of Privilege
By M. Levine

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
By B. Tatum

Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together
by Robert A. Bernstein

Is It a Choice? Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gay & Lesbian People
by Eric Marcus

Can We Talk about Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation
by Beverly Tatum

Lecture Notes: A Professor's Inside Guide to College Success
by Philip Freeman

Suggested resource: Pandemic Parenting.

For more UMD resources available to the family members of UMD students, please visit the Office of Family Engagement webpage.

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