Consultation Services - Information for Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff may consult with our counselors by phone or visit our office whenever they have a concern about the well-being of one of their students. As consultants, our role is to help you think through your options and, if desired, make suggestions for you to consider.
You do need to know that we do not contact students and intervene based on consultation with you. We can help you decide how to proceed with a student, whether that is to do nothing for now, talk with the student individually, or contact the Department of Student Life and Development for their assistance.
Some situations in which faculty and staff might contact us for consultation about a student include:
- Negative changes in performance, missing class, not showing for work
- Continual seeking of attention or special accommodation
- Essays or creative works that indicate extremes of helplessness, social isolation, rage, despair, etc.
- Unprovoked anger or hostility
- Unusually withdrawn behavior
- Statements indicating distress, family problems, or other difficulties
- Drug or alcohol concerns
- Suicidal or violent threats or behavior
- Deterioration in personal hygiene
- Confused, incoherent, or bizarre behavior or speech
What can you do?
- You can offer to talk privately with the student, express your concern about what you are observing, and ask how they are doing.
- You can listen actively and supportively, taking the student’s concern seriously.
- You do not need to take on the role of counselor, but you can be supportive and offer to help them find the help they need.
- You can refer the student directly to our center for counseling. Depending on your level of concern, you might offer to help them call us or walk them to our center. We try to have someone available throughout the day for this kind of situation
- Avoid sweeping promises of keeping secrets or confidentiality, particularly if there is a safety risk.
- In circumstances where a student is threatening, disruptive, or violent you may need to contact SCSU Public Safety at 320.308.3333 or call 911.
How can we be helpful to you?
Counselors are available to listen carefully and provide information on:
- How to talk to your student when they appear depressed, anxious, or troubled.
- How to suggest that your student get professional assistance.
- How to make an appointment for a crisis appointment or counseling services.
- SCSU and community resources are available to assist your student.
- How to set limits on your involvement when you feel overwhelmed.
How do I go about referring a student directly to the counseling center?
- Express a sincere concern for the student's well-being. Your willingness to listen and care about students' concerns is often the first step to resolving them.
- Clarify the boundaries of what you are able to do for them yourself but explain that you would like them to consider seeking assistance through the counseling center.
- Many students have no idea what to expect from counseling and many have preconceived ideas about counseling. As a result, share as much information and reassurance as you can.
- If you have suggested a student come to see us it is very helpful if you can give us a call so we know you have a concern about them.
- Offer to help the student make the call to schedule an appointment with us. At times, faculty and staff have brought students directly to the center. This is fine to do. If possible, give us a call before walking over so we can insure someone is available upon your arrival.
- Let the student know that counseling in our center is free and voluntary.
- Indicate that counseling is confidential and that no information regarding what is discussed is shared with anyone, including the fact that the student came to the center, unless the student gives permission.
- When there is an urgent concern, counselors are typically available to see a student in crisis the same day.