College students typically encounter a great deal of stress (e.g., academic, social, family, work, financial) during the course of their educational experience. While most students cope successfully with the demands of college life, for some the pressures can feel overwhelming and unmanageable. While there are a number of campus and community resources to assist students, they are sometimes unaware of or hesitant to utilize them.
In your role as faculty or staff, students may perceive you as someone who can lend a helping hand or be a good listener. Your expression of interest and concern may play an important role in helping a struggling student find appropriate assistance.
How to Refer a Student to Counseling?
If you are concerned about a student and believe they may benefit from our services, you are welcome to do any of the following:
- Talk with the student about our services and verbally refer them to our office services;
- Refer them to our website for more information on our services and how to contact us; or
- Accompany them to the office and support them as they make an appointment.
Please note that we cannot schedule appointments without talking with the student first.
What faculty/staff need to know about limits of confidentiality in counseling?
A student’s privacy rights are protected by both federal and state laws. A student’s attendance and what he/she shares in counseling is confidential unless the student is deemed to be a danger to himself or others. Otherwise no information is provided to anyone outside of the Counseling Center without a signed authorization to release information by the student.
Understandably, faculty are often interested in whether a student has followed through on his/her recommendation to seek mental health treatment. However, because of students’ privacy rights, mental health providers can neither confirm nor deny that the student has sought or is in treatment. In order to respond to the referring faculty member’s request, the student must sign a consent form that allows the mental health provider to release information about the student.