The polite refusals became all too familiar for counselors at Loyola University Maryland when they offered help to students who had lost a parent, endured an assault or lived through some other kind of trauma.
"Thanks so much for reaching out," the student might say. "I'm doing fine, but I'll call if I need something."
The conversations were always pleasant, said Jason Parcover, who oversees outreach at the university's counseling center. But it became obvious to him that a large percentage of students felt little inclination to engage. Even the ones going through the roughest patches seemed to regard counseling as taboo.
So Parcover and the counseling staff decided to meet students where so many of them chat, opine and forge friendships — on the Internet.