Tips & Resources for Families

Alcohol & Other Drugs

Fortunately, if they drink, most USF students drink in moderation. At the same time, abuse of alcohol and other drugs causes or contributes to significant harm for a sizable subset of students and those around them. These problems can include getting in trouble, alcohol poisoning, poor academic performance, accidents, drug interactions or overdose, and increased risk of sexual assault.

Parents can play an important role in helping students make good decisions around substance use. We encourage you to talk your student about the risks associated with drinking and drug use.

CAPS offers services to students struggling with problems around the use of alcohol or another drug. If you are concerned about your student’s drinking or drug use, feel free to contact CAPS for advice.

Anxiety & Stress

Communication, Boundaries, Supporting Your Student


Eating Disorders

  • Eating Disorders: Information on and resources for family members regarding eating disorders

"Empty Nest"


Mental Health



If your student has experienced a trauma, they will need extra support and care. Talk with your student as often as needed. You may find that they want more contact with family at this time, and that is normal.

  • Encourage your student to express their feelings about the incident. Provide support, realizing that all feelings are legitimate.
  • Reassure your student that strong feelings (or feeling numb and detached) after a trauma are common.
  • Realize that being away from home may be disconcerting and new to your student after they've been through a traumatic experience.
  • Ask them, “Are you worried about anything at this point?” This will give your student the opportunity to express any particular fears.
  • Encourage your student to seek support from fellow students, friends, and loved ones.
  • Advise your student to get familiar with emergency procedures and resources on campus.
  • If your student needs to talk with a professional, suggest that they contact CAPS or University Ministry.
  • Family members who are concerned about a USF student can consult with a professional: Call CAPS at (415) 422-6352.