The Counseling Center frequently consults and collaborates with faculty and staff to support the mental health needs of our campus.

Making a Referral

Confer with the Student

If you are concerned about any student who may be experiencing stress or emotional problems, the Counseling Center can help.

If you feel that the student would benefit from a referral for counseling, it is usually best to express your concern and make a recommendation directly to the student. It is also generally better to suggest counseling to a student and allow the student to make his or her own decision.

But, if a student needs help immediately, offer to call the Counseling Center with the student present. 

Calling the Center

If you call the Counseling Center on behalf of a student, identify yourself and explain to the receptionist that you are assisting a student in making an appointment; then allow the student to speak to the receptionist to arrange an appointment time.

Client confidentiality prohibits us from providing you with information about a student whom you have referred to us, but it is almost always appropriate for you to check back with the student to ascertain whether he or she has followed through on your recommendation. This communicates your continued interest and concern.

Question, Persuade, Refer

Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) is an evidence-based emergency mental health intervention for people at risk of suicide. The goal of QPR is to recognize a suicide crisis, interrupt it and direct the person to appropriate care.

Like CPR, QPR works to increase an at-risk individual's chance of survival. People trained in QPR are taught to recognize the warning signs of suicide, which include depression, expressions of hopelessness, and talk of suicide. They are then taught how to respond.

QPR training takes about an hour and can be a life-saving experience.

Access QPR Training

  1. Create Your Account
  2. Enter organization name: SUNY
  3. Add your name and Buffalo State email address


Tips For Recognizing Troubled Students

  • serious grade problems or a change from consistently good grades to poor performance;
  • excessive absences, especially if the student had previously demonstrated good, consistent class attendance;
  • unusual or markedly changed pattern of interaction, i.e., totally avoiding participation, becoming excessively anxious when called upon, dominating discussions, etc.;
  • other characteristics that suggest the student is having trouble managing stress successfully include a depressed, lethargic mood; being excessively active and talkative (very rapid speech); swollen, red eyes; marked change in personal dress and hygiene; sweaty (when room is not hot); and falling asleep inappropriately.
  • repeated requests for special consideration, such as deadline extensions, especially if the student appears uncomfortable or highly emotional disclosing the circumstances prompting the request;
  • new or regularly occurring behavior which pushes the limits of decorum and which interferes with the effective management of the immediate environment;
  • unusual or exaggerated emotional response which is obviously inappropriate to the situation
  • highly disruptive (hostile, aggressive, violent, etc.)
  • inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech, unconnected or disjointed thoughts);
  • loss of contact with realty (seeing/hearing things which "aren't there," beliefs or actions greatly at odds with reality or probability);
  • overtly suicidal thoughts (referring to suicide as a current option);
  • homicidal threats.