Information for Faculty
What Services Are Available at the Counseling Center?
When Should a Student Make an Appointment with a Counselor?
- 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?
- 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- Withdrawn/social isolation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
- Deterioration in academic performance
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on assignments
- Talking about revenge or an “eye for an eye”
- Disorganized or paranoid thinking
- 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.
Responding to Student Emergencies or Students in Distress
- 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)
- 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