Resources for Faculty
Counseling Referral Information
Working closely with students, you may encounter distressed students needing additional
assistance coping with the pressures and challenges they are facing. You may play
a crucial role in identifying and referring these distressed students for professional
help. Following are some frequently asked questions about emotional distress.
- What are some of the signs indicating a possible counseling referral?
The following may indicate the need for a referral to counseling services:
- Suicidal thoughts (e.g. referring to suicide as a current option or indirect reference
to suicide or death)
- Wanting to hurt othersBizarre/inappropriate behavior and/or garbled disjointed thoughts
- Highly disruptive behavior (e.g., aggression toward other people, violent outbursts,
disruptions of class or work)
- Abrupt changes in behavior or appearance
- Uncertainty & anxiety about emotional stability, family situation and/or relationship
- Normal emotions displayed for a prolonged period of time at an extreme degree
- Increased irritabilityKnow or suspect alcohol/drug abuse
- Dependency (e.g., wants other to take care of him/her)
- Infrequent class attendance
- Never leaving the residence hall
- Issues with anger
- Fatigue, lack of energy
- How do I make a referral to a student?
- Talk to the student in private
- Listen to thoughts & feelings, allowing the student to talk
- Avoid criticizing, judging, and/or giving adviceExplore options instead of trying
to "fix it" for the student
- Emphasize that seeking help is a sign of health and maturity, not weakness
- Contact counseling services for consultation if the student resists help & you are
concerned about what to do
- Encourage the student to contact Counseling Services to make an appointment
- What does Counseling Services have to offer?
During an initial interview a counselor will assess the student's needs and determine
what services will be appropriate. The following options are explored:
- Further assessment
- Individual, group, and/or couples counseling (short-term)
- Referral to other departments or services, on campus or in the community
- If I refer a student to counseling, should I follow-up by calling Counseling Services?
We understand that you will be interested in the problems of the student you have
referred, but we are bound by the principles of CONFIDENTIALITY as defined by the
Code of Ethics & Standards of the American Counseling Association.
- What can't Counseling Services tell me?
Students may decide it is in their best interest to have Counseling Services share
information with faculty, staff, family, or significant others. This can be done after
the student signs written consent, being sure she/he understands the purpose and content
of any disclosure. The exception is when we determine that imminent danger exists
to the student or to others. In this case, we will inform the appropriate individuals.
- Say whether a student is being seen or has kept an appointment
- Discuss the content of sessions
- Discuss treatment plans or progress
- What can Counseling Services tell me?
Answer questions concerning steps to take in assisting students in coming to counselingOffer
information about psychological concerns or problems in general
- What do I do in emergency situations?
If the situation is an emergency and you feel that the student is going to hurt themselves
or someone else you need to do the following:
Call ATU Public Safety (968-0222) and let them know there is an individual who is
going to hurt themselves or someone else
If the student is not in imminent danger of physically harming themselves or others
then you should do the following:
Call Counseling Services (968-0329) stating "this is an emergency and the student
needs an appointment immediately"
If the Counseling Services office is closed and you have an emergency, contact ATU
Public Safety (968-0222). They will make sure the student is safe and contact others
Counseling Services Staff:
Kristy Stokes, M.A., L.P.C.
Associate Dean for Student Wellness
Lori LeBahn, Ed.D., L.P.C.