Info for Parents and Family Members

Info for Parents and Family Members

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One of the most challenging aspects of sending your student to college is worrying about their health and wellbeing. This can be especially trying when your student is receiving services in a new setting from new providers who you don’t know. Although this transition can be difficult for you, we often find that it is relatively easy for our students. Our providers are focused on the physical, emotional, and developmental needs of college-aged students, and we tailor our services to meet these needs.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

Please see our Coronvirus Update web page for the most up-to-date information.

Converse has been taking preventative measures to address the spread of viruses, including wiping down common areas, doorknobs, and light switches with hospital-grade cleaners and having the food service staff serve people in the line.

If your student is exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory disease, including fever, persistent cough, and shortness of breath, advise them to seek medical care as soon as possible and contact our Wellness Center at 864.596.9258.

See additional up-to-date information and resources on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Frequently Asked Questions:

No. Due to privacy concerns, as well as our desire to foster independence and self-sufficiency in our students, we require that students schedule their own appointments for health and counseling services.

Be aware that our staff does encourage our students to discuss their physical and mental health concerns and treatment options with their parents. Unfortunately, unless your student is under the age of 18, we legally we cannot share information about a student’s visit unless the student signs a form giving permission to speak and share information with their parents. If you have questions and would like to speak with your child’s counselor or healthcare provider, please encourage your student to request a release of information from the Wellness Center. Once that is done, we will be happy to speak with any parent!

This written consent is separate from the FERPA waiver that your student may have signed allowing you to access your student’s financial statements or educational records. Because our counseling services are provided by Converse staff and health services are provided through a contract with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, a consent to release counseling records does not apply to health records (and vice versa).

It is sometimes helpful for health care providers to communicate and share medical records with each other, especially if they are both working to address the same issue. If this would be helpful, your student can stop by the Wellness Center and request a Release of Information. Once this form is complete, we will be able to pass along and/or receive your student’s records with other health care providers.

If you are worried about your student, please feel free to communicate these concerns to us. If your student is currently receiving services from a provider, we may be able to reach out to them; however, if your student is not receiving services, we are usually unable to initiate contact with them. You may also consider completing a Converse Cares form. This may be the best option if you are uncertain about whether or not your student is receiving services, as a staff member of the College—rather than the Wellness Center—will intervene in a discrete, appropriate manner.

As a parent or guardian, you have most likely scheduled and attended most, if not all, of your student’s medical appointments. You have been the keeper of your student’s medical history. You have helped your student communicate with healthcare professionals. You have filled your student’s prescriptions.

However, your student will now be independent in completing the majority of these tasks. As your student prepares for college, there are some skills and information that you may want to help your student to learn:

  • Encourage your student to call and make his or her next medical appointment and obtain general information about the appointment.
  • Make sure your student knows where the Wellness Center is located, and how to make an appointment.
  • Discuss the important elements of their insurance plan, such as co-pays, preauthorization, prescription costs, and the difference between in-network and out-of-network care. Provide your student with copies of his or her medical, prescription drug, dental, and/or vision insurance cards. Review your expectations regarding any medical costs your student may incur, as well as the payment of medical bills.
  • If your student has any seasonal, food, or drug allergies, make sure your student is aware of what they are, how to avoid these allergens (whenever possible), and the appropriate treatment for any allergic reactions.
  • Help your student build a first-aid kit to bring to school, and make sure your student knows how and when to use the items in it. Include items such as:
    • Supplies:
      • Thermometer
      • Antiseptic wipes
      • Bandages
      • Adhesive tape
      • Gauze
      • Tweezers for splinters
      • Ace bandages for minor sprains
      • Sunscreen
      • Insect repellent
      • Instant cold pack
      • Heating pad
      • Aloe vera for sunburn
      • Tissues
    • Medications:
      • Pain reliever/fever reducer (e.g., Tylenol, Advil)
      • Cough drops
      • Benadryl for allergic reactions
      • Antibiotic ointment (e.g., Neosporin) for minor cuts
      • Hydrocortisone cream for bug bites
      • Antacid for heartburn or upset stomach
      • Epi-Pen (if prescribed for allergic reactions)
  • Educate your student on basic health concerns, and ways to treat these illnesses and injuries with over-the-counter medications and home remedies:
    • Common cold
    • Viruses and fever
    • Allergies, especially seasonal
    • Joint sprains
    • Common scrapes, cuts, bruises
    • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Make sure that your student knows how to get a prescription filled.
  • Educate your student on the differences between illnesses that require medical care and those that require rest and chicken noodle soup.
  • Help your student become more independent in managing their mental health symptoms–teach them to monitor their own symptoms, make appointments with their counselor, fill prescriptions, etc.
  • Teach your student a variety of ways to manage their stress, including talking to others, exercising, getting enough sleep, deep breathing, etc.
  • If it is difficult for your student to come home to see a psychiatrist or a counselor, help your student to get set up with services in the Spartanburg area. The Wellness Center can assist you with referrals to local providers.
  • If your student takes medication for a mental health concern, make sure to pick a pharmacy in Spartanburg where they can pick up their medication.
  • If your student requires academic accommodations for their mental health concern, contact the Office of Disability Services.
  • If your student becomes more stressed or depressed, encourage your student to reach out for help sooner rather than later–it’s much easier to  call the Wellness Center to schedule a counseling appointment.
  • Encourage your student to make an appointment with a counselor–counseling services at the Wellness Center are free and confidential.
  • Suggest that your student speak with her Community Advisor and/or Resident Director.
  • If it is an emergency, contact Campus Safety at 864.596.9026; officers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Use the Converse Cares Alert Form on your Parent Portal.
See our Converse COVID-19 resource web page for coronavirus-related updates for the Converse community.  Converse Community Updates >