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, the best referral comes from someone they already have a relationship with: you. Point out what you've noticed, express your concern for them, and make your recommendation directly to the student. It is also generally better to encourage counseling (or any support) and allow the student to make his or her own decision.
But if a student needs help immediately or is having trouble actually linking to the support they need, you can offer to call the Counseling Center with the student present, or walk them over to see an Urgent Care counselor.
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 their appointment time.
If you walk a student over, you can either drop them off with the front desk (if you just want the student to make an appointment) or ask to talk to the Urgent Care counselor (if you think the student needs immediate intervention).
You can help a student know what to expect in their first phone screening appointment by looking here: What to expect in your initial phone screening appointment.
Client confidentiality prohibits us from providing you with information about a student who you referred to us (unless the student signs a consent form), but it is almost always helpful for you to check back with the student to see whether they have followed through on your recommendation.
A simple email or check-in like "Did you make an appointment like we talked about?" communicates your continued care and concern, and helps remind them if they forgot or ran into a barrier. You don't have to do the work for them, just the reminder and the demonstration of your care are the most important parts.
Research shows that even a single follow-up email/text/conversation increases people's likelihood of following a recommendation, and increases their experience of feeling cared for and connected.
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.
QPR is an evidence-based training about identifying people in a mental health crisis, how to start conversations about mental health, and ways to get students connected with resources effectively. If you are interested in a free, 1-hour on-demand and interactive training, see our Workshops page under "QPR."
If your department or team is interested in a QPR training (or any other consultation or training) with a member of the Counseling Center staff, contact us at 716-878-4436 or email@example.com.