Knowing When to Refer a Student for Professional Help
When students express personal concerns, faculty and staff can provide help through empathic listening, facilitating open discussion of problems, instilling hope, conveying acceptance, and offering basic advice. Often times, this type of help is adequate. In other cases, however, students need professional help to overcome problems and to resume effective coping.
Signs that indicate that a student may need counseling:
- The student remains distressed following repeated help from you or other staff members.
- The student becomes increasingly isolated, unkempt, irritable, or disconnected.
- The student’s academic or social performance deteriorates.
- The student’s behavior reflects increased hopelessness or helplessness.
- You find yourself doing on-going counseling rather than consultation or advising.
A Note on Confidentiality
CSC Counseling Services are required by law and by professional ethics to protect the confidentiality of all communication between counselors and clients (except in cases where harm to self or harm to others is involved).
Consequently, a counselor cannot discuss the details of a student’s situation with others or even indicate whether the student is, in fact, in counseling, without having written permission from the student. Ideally, the student would share important information with you directly based on your need and your relationship.
How to Refer
- Speak to the student in a direct, concerned, straightforward manner.
- Because many students initially resist the idea of counseling, be caring but firm in your judgment that counseling would be helpful. Also be clear about the reasons that you are concerned.
- Suggest that the student call to make an appointment, and provide the counseling services number (432-6232) and location (Crites 011).
- Remind the student that services are FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL.
- Sometimes it is useful to more actively assist students in scheduling an initial counseling appointment. You can offer the use of your phone or call the receptionist yourself while the student waits in your office. In some situations, you may find it wise to walk the student over to the Health Center.
- If you need help in deciding on whether or not it is appropriate to make a referral, call Health Services at 308-432-6282 for consultation with CSC’s licensed counselor.
CSC Contact Numbers
Health Services Office: 308-432-6232
Counselor Office: 308-432-6268
Counselor Cell: 308-430-4593
Nurse Office: 308-432-6022
Nurse Cell: 308-430-4906
TRiO Counselor Office: 308-432-6242
TRiO Counselor Cell: 308-430-2411
Student Affairs: 308-432-6231
Student Affairs Cell: 308-430-1243