Student Health and Wellness Services | Counseling Center
Consultation with Counseling Services
Faculty, staff, parents, and concerned others may consult with Counseling Center staff if they believe a student is in distress and they are uncertain how to help. If you have concerns about a student's emotional functioning or behavior, including alcohol use, depression or anxiety, aggression, unusual behavior, or overall psychological well-being, we encourage you to speak with a Counseling Center professional staff member. To consult with a professional counselor, call our office at 716-673-3424 and ask to speak with the counselor on-call. The on-call counselor will ask for specific information about the situation in order to help you determine how to proceed.
For more information about how to proceed in an emergency, please go to our Crisis Services page.
How to Refer Students
Guidelines for Helpful Interactions
Here are some helpful guidelines to consider if you are planning to speak with a student about your concerns for their well-being:
- Talk to the student in private.
- Express your concern for the student in a direct, straightforward manner.
- Listen carefully.
- Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
- Try not to make agreements with the student that isolate you in dealing with the problem (e.g., promising to keep what they have said a secret).
- Consider the Counseling Center as a resource and discuss a possible referral with the student. Our services are confidential and free of charge for all students.
- Remember that the student has the right to accept, think over, or refuse your recommendations.
- If the student resists help and you are still concerned, it may be helpful for you to consult with a Counseling Center professional staff member.
- In a crisis, the most important things are to remain calm and to make sure the student is safe.
Steps for Making the Referral
Encourage the student to call the Counseling Center at 716-673-3424 to schedule an appointment. Students may also schedule appointments in person by going to LoGrasso Hall (provided that our secretary is available).
You can place the call to the Counseling Center while the student is with you or walk the student over to our office to set up an appointment.
In the case of a mental health emergency during business hours, call 673-3424 and let the secretary know that you need assistance with a crisis situation. For information on how to respond to emergencies which do not occur during business hours, go to our Crisis Services page.
If you are concerned about a student but are uncertain about the appropriateness of a referral, feel free to call the Counseling Center and speak with a member of our professional staff. (See above for more information about a consultation with Counseling Center staff.)
What to Do if a Student is Reluctant to Seek Help
While it is important to care about the emotional well being of students, we cannot make their decisions for them, and counseling is always a personal choice. Nevertheless, you can assist a student who is ambivalent about seeking professional help in a number of ways.
- Normalize the process of pursuing counseling. This may be especially helpful for students whose cultural backgrounds may include differing views of mental health treatment.
- Reassure the student that you do not view him or her "crazy."
- Let the student know that no problem is too big or too small for treatment.
- Inform the student that he or she can make an appointment to speak to a counselor once without making a commitment to ongoing therapy.
- Remind the student that their participation in counseling any information shared during counseling sessions is kept strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to parents, faculty, or other college departments without the student's written permission.
- Acknowledge, validate, and discuss the student's real fears and concerns about seeking help. Some students may feel that counseling is an admission of weakness or failure; we tell students that it takes considerable courage and integrity to face oneself, acknowledge one's limitations, and admit the desire or need for assistance.
- Suggest that the student visit our web site as a means to become familiar with the services we offer prior to seeking treatment.
Additional Ways to Help
Here are some additional ways faculty, staff, parents, and other concerned adults can help enhance the psychological well-being of our students:
- Become familiar with Counseling Center Services--including services, staff, resources, and programs--so that you can talk knowledgeably with students.
- Learn about the benefits of counseling and dispute the stigma associated with seeking mental health services.
- Seek out and use Counseling Center resources as appropriate.
- Help to spread the word about the Counseling Center's services: groups, workshops, and self-help materials. You can request an outreach program for your own class, organization, or department. More information about Outreach Services can be found on our Outreach Services page.
- Provide us with feedback by sharing anything you learn about student needs, concerns, or needed programs. Please feel free to call our office at 716-673-3424 or to send an e-mail to Counseling.Center@Fredonia.edu.