Faculty and staff often ask when a referral for Counseling is appropriate. The most obvious time would be when a student specifically indicates the need for counseling or psychological services. As faculty and staff members, your daily interactions with students can be critical in identifying students in need of assistance and helping them access the appropriate services.
Counseling Services offers a wide variety of services for students.
Situations for which you should refer students to us include:
- Students who have expressed a desire to withdraw from the College.
- Any student who is disclosing personal or psychological issues that interfere with their academic performance and progress.
- Students who disclose alcohol or substance abuse issues that are interfering with their personal, academic, or work performance.
- Students pose or indicate a significant danger to their own well-being or that of others.
Identifying a Student in Crisis or Distress
Faculty and staff often ask when a referral for Counseling is appropriate. The most obvious time would be when a student specifically indicates the need for counseling or psychological services. Counseling Services often sees students in crisis and distress. Crisis is identified as a situation in which the student identifies themselves or others as being in imminent danger of physical harm. While students in crisis may be visibly upset or crying, this does not necessarily indicate a crisis situation.
In a crisis situation, faculty and staff often escort students to our office. During regular business hours, students presented as being in crisis are seen immediately for further evaluation.
Situations that qualify as crisis and that should be immediately referred to Counselors are:
- Mention of suicidal ideation and intent.
- Threats of harm to self or others.
- Excessive anxiety, agitation, or worry.
- Apparent confusion or inappropriate behavior.
Anytime a student shares a personal problem that is beyond your range of knowledge or you feel uncomfortable handling, you should gently make a referral to Counseling Services.
Sometimes in the classroom you may observe a student presenting emotional or behavioral signs that suggest he/she is in distress. In such cases, a referral for a counseling appointment would be appropriate. Such signs could include crying, loss of appetite or weight, sudden changes in academic performance, aggressive or disruptive behavior, or the apparent influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you are uncertain whether a referral for counseling is indicated, you should contact Counseling Services for assistance. A Counselor will provide consultation in these situations determine if a referral to our office would be beneficial.