Referral Guide for Faculty and Staff
Counseling Center Services
The Counseling Center provides personal counseling, outreach services, crisis intervention, and consultation to faculty and staff regarding student concerns. The Center is staffed by 2 clinical psychologists and a licensed clinical professional counselor. All currently enrolled students are eligible for counseling. All services provided by the Counseling Center are free, voluntary, and confidential.
The Counseling Center provides short term counseling to students with an array of concerns including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, roommate conflict, relationship concerns, college adjustment and other emotional issues. Students assessed as requiring longer term therapy, are referred to counseling professionals in the community.
The Role of the Faculty and Staff
As faculty and staff, you are in an excellent position to recognize behavioral and emotional changes in the student. Faculty and staff should determine for themselves their personal comfort levels with becoming involved with student problems. Becoming the main source of support for a student can be overwhelming, stressful, and tiring. It is important to recognize your own limitations in providing assistance to students and know when referral to the Counseling Center is appropriate.
How to Make the Referral
If a student approaches you with a problem, the following recommendations may help to make the referral process easier:
- Listen in a non-judgmental and respectful manner. Repeat back to the student the essence of what he/she told you.
- Express concern. Be specific about what you have observed and reasons for your concern.
- Be direct in letting the student know that you believe a counselor would be of help in this situation.
- Inform the student that services are strictly confidential and free of charge.
- If the student is upset (crying, agitated etc.), wait until the student has calmed down enough to be able to converse with you before attempting to make the referral.
- Give the student the Counseling Center phone number (7492). The student can call from your office or on their own. Typically, no appointments can be made for a student by a third party without the student speaking directly to the secretary or counselor.
Seek help immediately if a student:
- Expresses imminent suicidal thoughts and/or a plan
- Expresses imminent homicidal thoughts
- Loses emotional control severely
- Shows gross impairment in thinking ability
- Exhibits bizarre behavior
- Experienced recent domestic or sexual assault
Emergencies during office hours: If you feel that the student is in crisis, you can call the Counseling Center or have the student call from your office. Tell the Counseling Center secretary that this is an "emergency" and she will connect you with a counselor.
After hours emergencies: Call Campus Safety at 341-7979 who can connect you with the on-call Student Development Staff or the Counselor.
Counseling Center staff will be available on the same day to see a student in an urgent or life threatening situation.
When to Consult With Counseling Center Staff
- If the student is hesitant to make an appointment or you are not comfortable making a referral.
- To share your concerns about a student.
- To discuss how to approach a student of concern.
Comments on Confidentiality
The counselors at the Counseling Center are under ethical and legal obligations not to release confidential information. We are not permitted to disclose if a student is receiving counseling services. Only with written permission by the student can a counselor disclose information to others (except in cases of danger to self or others).
If a student tells us that you referred him/her and gives written permission, a counselor will call to notify you that the student did attend the initial appointment. If you would like additional feedback regarding progress, you may call the counselor and the counselor will ask the referred student directly for permission to contact you. If you would like more information about the students contact with the Counseling Center, we encourage you to directly ask the student.