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Information for Faculty

Counseling Center
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Information for Faculty

What Services Are Available at the Counseling Center?

The Counseling Center at CCNY offers individual and group counseling and crisis intervention to students. Students will meet with a counselor for an intake appointment during which time the counselor will discuss the student’s concerns and help to identify an appropriate plan for treatment. Some students are seen at the Counseling Center while other students are referred off campus to local community mental health providers. All services are free and confidential. The Counseling Center offers short-term counseling. At the end of their allotted counseling sessions, together with their counselor, the student decides if they wish to continue treatment. All students are provided with referrals for further treatment and supported as they make the transition to a new counselor.
 
The Counseling Center is staffed by three full-time licensed clinical psychologists, three part-time staff members, psychology doctoral externs/fellows and a consulting psychiatrist (off-site). We are located in the Marshak Science Building, Room J-15 and the Counseling Center’s phone number is (212) 650-8222.
 

When Should a Student Make an Appointment with a Counselor?

College can be a very challenging time for students. We encourage all students to make an appointment, especially if experiencing:
  • Difficulties focusing or concentrating on school work
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Change in mood (either depressed, elevated or combination of both)
  • Feeling exhausted all of the time
  • Struggles with motivation
  • Stress, anger, and time management difficulties
  • Relationship problems
  • Family difficulties
  • Adjustment struggles
  • Safety concerns: suicidal/homicidal ideation

When Should a Faculty Member Consider Making a Referral?

We appreciate that faculty members have close interactions and connections with their students. As a result of the time spent together both in and out of the classroom, faculty and staff are often most likely to notice the signs when a student in distress who is in need of support. You may observe signs of distressed behavior in the classroom, as they submit assignments, or in the way they participate during classroom discussion. There may be marked changes in a student’s behavior that cause you to feel concerned. Sometimes, a student may disclose personal information about themselves in a way that suggests they need additional support.

What Are the Best Methods for Dealing with Distressed Students?

Share your concern for the student in a setting where others cannot hear the conversation. Students are responsive to direct communication that is offered without criticism, judgment or minimization of their issues. Offer specific examples of behavior or observations that highlights your concerns. Provide the student with an opportunity to talk and listen to them. Offer support and assistance.

What Are the Warning Signs of Severe Distress?

Behavioral
  • Irritable/confrontational/argumentative
  • Disruptive in class/inappropriate verbalizations and outbursts
  • Erratic classroom attendance/fidgeting or constantly leaving the classroom
  • Change in appearance/hygiene
  • Withdrawn/social isolation
  • Difficulty engaging with classroom peers/appears detached
  • Intoxicated or smell of marijuana
  • Sudden and/or extreme religiosity
  • Recent legal problems (stalking, harassment)
  • Threats of violence/ fascination with weapons
  • Hears voices / talking to self
Cognitive
  • Deterioration in academic performance
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on assignments
  • Talking about revenge or an “eye for an eye”
  • Disorganized or paranoid thinking
Emotional
  • Appears tearful or shaky
  • Expresses feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Appears agitated or angry
  • “Everything is a problem attitude”
  • Alluding to suicide or life being over soon
 

When to Refer

Licensed psychologists are available to consult with faculty members when they are uncertain about whether a student requires our services. You may find yourself referring a student who continues to reach out to you for on-going counseling rather than consulting or advising. Similarly, you may refer students who become distressed in spite of your repeated attempts to help, students who become increasingly isolated or irritable, or students whose behavior reflects increased hopelessness or helplessness. If you notice a change in a student’s academic performance, social interaction or hygiene, this may suggest that you should refer to the Counseling Center. Finally, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the situation with the student we encourage you to call us for a consultation.

Assure Students that there is Help Available

If you know of a student who is experiencing these symptoms and displays some or many of the warning signs above, encourage them to seek help at the Counseling Center as soon as possible. If the student consents, you may call the Counseling Center directly and then pass the phone to the student who can then schedule an appointment. You can walk the student over to our office in the Marshak Building, Room J-15. You may provide the student with our contact information and encourage the student to self-refer to the Center.

On-Campus
The Counseling Center, Marshak J-15, (212)650-8222
 
Off-Campus
LifeNet- 24 hour referral hotline for the five NYC boroughs
(800) LIFENET (543-3638)
 

Responding to Student Emergencies or Students in Distress

Immediate and decisive action is necessary for the following situations:
  • Threatening or violent behavior at self or others (suicidal attempt, gesture, threat, or stated intention; homicidal attempt, gesture threat or intention)
  • Vocalizing intent to engage in impulsive behavior where there is high risk to self or other.
  • Inability to communicate clearly (garbled/slurred speech, racing speech, tangential speech, disjointed thoughts, flight of ideas)
  • Loss of contact with reality (visual/audio hallucinations, fixed odd beliefs or actions)
In these situations:
  • Stay calm
  • Contact Public Safety at (212) 650-7777 or call 911 if there is an immediate threat
  • Contact the Counseling Center at (212) 650-8222

Stigma

Often students are hesitant to accept a referral to the Counseling Center because they believe that counseling is for people who are “crazy.” Let your student know that meeting with a counselor does not mean that they are “crazy” or weak. Encourage your student to come to the Center and share with them that attending counseling can be a sign of strength and a commitment to improve one’s life. Convey that all students are treated with respect and are seen as individuals with unique strengths and that all services are confidential.