Making referrals to us
The Counseling Services Center may be of assistance to a faculty or staff member who is concerned about a student's well being. If you believe that a student is in crisis (or seems to be heading towards crisis) please feel free to call us at 312.4416 to consult with a counselor. Our secretary is usually available to answer calls weekdays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (with a break at noon for lunch). After office hours, you can contact a counselor by calling University Police at 312.5555.
A situation or problem becomes a crisis when a person's traditional and emergency methods of coping with and solving problems are no longer working effectively. Symptoms may impact functioning on a variety of levels:
- Cognitive: The person's thinking is impaired; he/she is often confused, unable to concentrate and has difficulty with judgment and problem solving.
- Affective: The person usually feels anxious, tense, depressed, overwhelmed, helpless and/or hopeless. These feelings interfere with effective problem solving.
- Behavioral: You may observe the person acting in ways that are not ordinary and may be self-defeating.
Faculty and staff can help by recognizing the crisis and facilitating a referral. You are not expected to act as a counselor; however, listening to the student with compassion may help you to assess their situation and make the referral process go more smoothly. Some suggestions include:
- Talk in a private place, if possible
- Remain calm and talk softly
- Call the CSC after assessing the need for a referral
Tell the secretary if it is an emergency. If the secretary does not know that this is a crisis situation, she will schedule the student in the next available appointment slot which matches the student's time availability. If the secretary is aware that the student is in crisis, she may cancel other appointments if necessary in order to get the student in on the same day. If the student is disoriented or anxious, you may want to walk with him/her to the CSC (located in the Walker Health Center building).
CSC staff can help faculty and staff by:
- Consulting with you regarding any concerns you may have about a student, and how to best approach the student
- Helping you develop ways to manage your emotions about the student
- Developing a counseling relationship with a willing student
What the CSC cannot do:
- Call a student or go to his/her room, UNLESS they are a threat to themselves
- Call a student's parents
- Give follow-up information regarding a student to faculty/staff (unless the student signs a release form)
- Write notes for students who have not been working with a counselor in an on-going therapeutic relationship