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
- Becoming a Wise Parent for Your Grown Child: How to Give Love and Support Without Meddling (book available on Amazon.com)
- Communicating With my College-Age Child by Ray Lin: Tips for more effective communication with your student
- Home for the Holidays: What to expect when your student returns home for break from college
- You're on Your Own (But I'm Here if You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years (book available on Amazon.com)
- Homesickness Tips for Families: Useful tips for family members on how to help your student with homesickness
- Eating Disorders: Information on and resources for family members regarding eating disorders
- Empty Nest, Full Heart: The Journey From Home to College (book available on Amazon.com)
- How to Survive and Thrive in an Empty Nest: Reclaiming Your Life When Your Children Have Grown (book available on Amazon.com)
- Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years (book available on Amazon.com)
- Parents, Families, & Friends of LGBTQI Individuals: Website of PFLAG, a national education, advocacy, and support organization for the loved ones of LGBTQI individuals
- Supporting Gender Identity: A Beginners' Guide for Friends, Family, and University Staff by Amber Hager: Information and resources for family members of students who are transgender, gender nonbinary, or gender nonconforming
- NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness: Awareness, education and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness
- The Jed Foundation: Working to reduce emotional distress and prevent suicide among college students through education, partnerships, and resources
- Breaking up Is Hard to Do: How to Support Your Child Through a Break-up: Tips for families
- Is My Child's Relationship Unhealthy?: Warning signs and how to help
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.