A Guide for Faculty

The following information can be read in greater detail in the Counseling and Psychological Services’ brochure Recognizing and Referring Troubled Students.

If you have concerns about a student for whatever reason (e.g., unkempt appearance, sleeping during class, inability to attend, distracted, sad affect, hyper behavior, unusual poor academic performance, body odor, calling out in class, inappropriate comments, crying, changed pattern of interactions, repeated requests for special consideration, excessive absences, anxiety, withdrawal, or intrusiveness, to mention a few signs indicating distress):

  1. Ask the student to meet with you after class, during office hours, or at a time convenient to you both.
  2. In a straightforward manner, explain to the student the behaviors that you have observed that cause you to worry about him/her. Avoid generalizations and don’t suggest anything negative about the student’s personality or character.
  3. Let the student know that you have referred other students to Counseling and Psychological Services for similar behaviors. And make it clear to the student that you would like him/her to see a counselor because, based on your observations of the student’s behavior, he/she could benefit from talking to someone who has expertise in this area.
  4. Go slowly. Allow for discussion of feelings and fears about a referral. Except in an emergency, counseling is voluntary and the choice is the student’s to accept or refuse a referral.
  5. If the student agrees to counseling, you can immediately place a call to us at x3398, with the student present. Most of the time, a student can be seen that day. Or, make sure the student knows where we are located and give the student the phone extension. (There are some cases, as in what appears to be a crisis, that it may be appropriate to walk the student over to us.)
  6. Ask the student to sign a release (also the student’s prerogative) giving you permission to speak with his/her counselor, if you see a need. We cannot reveal anything to you, including whether or not the student made or kept an appointment, without the student’s written release.
  7. Follow up with the student at a later date to indicate your interest in him/her, even if s/he did not accept the referral. Indicate to the student that you are interested in the student’s well-being. But, if the student wants to discuss problems with you that you know you cannot handle, reinforce the idea of counseling.