Recognizing and Helping Students in Distress

Yüklə 75,45 Kb.
ölçüsü75,45 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6

Making a Referral

The Center is located at 135 Allen Place, accessible from the rear of the Campus Safety parking lot. Our telephone number is 860-297-2415. To make an appointment a student may call our office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and Ms. Kristina Cavalieri, our office coordinator, will help to set up an appointment. Students may also access us via email, but it is preferable that students contact us directly by phone to arrange an appointment, especially since, when a request is made by email for a time, if we respond with available times, they may get booked before the student can reply. Also, students usually feel more committed to the process if they make the appointment themselves, and are more likely to show up for the appointment they make, so it is our policy not to permit others (faculty, friends, parents, deans, etc.) to make appointments for students. For this same reason, the Counseling Center will not call students into the office.

In some instances, faculty and staff who are making a referral to the Counseling Center might remain with the student while they make the phone call to set the appointment or they may even accompany the student to the Counseling Center if there is urgency and they wish to make sure the student physically make contact with us.

We sometimes get calls from students or faculty and staff on students' behalf requesting a specific member of our staff. While we realize that this is always done with the best intentions, there are often reasons why this may not be in the student’s best interest, and the faculty member has no way of knowing that. For example, scheduling issues, or conflict of interests with friends of a student who may be seeing one of the staff, may make your specific request inappropriate, and we are not always able to tell you that for reasons of confidentiality. While we try to be as responsive as possible to such requests, we ask your understanding in letting us make the decision about who will see a student. Of course we value your input about this issue, but there may be other reasons that we cannot discuss with you for a different choice.

Usually an appointment can be set up for no later than the next day or two, although in busy periods, or if a student wishes an appointment with a specific person or at a specific time of day, there may be a few days before a time can be scheduled. If a student is in crisis, we will ALWAYS arrange to see him or her very quickly, immediately if necessary. Regular appointments are routinely scheduled from 9:00 am with the last regular one scheduled at 4:00 pm, but may sometimes be made as early as 8:00 a.m. or as late as 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Of course, our staff can also be reached by email.


The Counseling Center staff has a somewhat unique “on call” system which we have developed to provide more direct and, we think, responsive service to our students. We have found that when we make ourselves available to our student patients without difficulty, we are often able to address problems before they escalate. Therefore, all full-time doctoral staff members make their cell phone available on their Trinity office voicemail system that may be used in emergencies.

This does not mean that each of us is always immediately available, but it does mean that one of us is virtually always reachable by cell within an hour or so. Emergencies that require attention more quickly than that, regardless of our accessibility, should be directed to emergency service personnel (police, ambulance, fire) who are equipped to handle such immediate emergencies. Campus Safety also has our doctoral level staff members’ cell phone numbers.


According to professional ethics, as well as Connecticut and federal law, except in circumstances of imminent life-threatening danger, all contact with the Counseling Center is privileged and confidential. Information about whether a student is in counseling, and information communicated to the Counseling Center staff by a student cannot be disclosed to anyone outside the Counseling Center without written consent from the student.

We understand that at times, this may seem strange: If you have expressed concern for the well-being of a student whom you have referred to the Counseling Center, we understand that you may want to know how he or she is doing. In this case, most often simply following up with the student and asking if she or he made contact with the Center will provide you with the confirmation that the student is seeking services. Students may also sign a release of information so that relevant information may be shared with you that could help the student academically.


If you suggest that a student come to the Center, and she or he declines, we are still happy to talk with you about your concerns, offer general advice, and suggest ways that you may be able to encourage the student to come in, at least for one session. It is actually often the case that the student whom you want to refer may already be coming. While we cannot let you know this without the student’s permission, we can still talk with you in general about your concerns and about the kinds of issues that you may be seeing in your student.

What to Look For

Many faculty and staff have asked what the most frequent signs of emotional distress are. When should you be concerned? What should you look for?

While, of course, there are no absolutes, and while some students exhibit few obvious signs of distress and can be quite distressed while others can appear to act in some unusual ways who may not be in distress at all, we offer some general observations.

The following signs may help identify those in need of professional counseling:

  • The student remains distressed despite repeated attempts by you and others to be helpful.

  • The student becomes more isolated, unkempt, irritable or disconnected.

  • The student’s academic or social performance deteriorates, despite your efforts to be supportive.

  • The student’s behavior reflects an increased sense of hopelessness or helplessness.

  • You find yourself doing ongoing counseling rather than academic consultation or advising.

  • The student shows significant and marked changes in behavior and mood, in either direction.

What to avoid:

  • Do not ignore or trivialize warning signs of potential mental health problems.

  • Do not intentionally or unintentionally become the student’s therapist or rescuer.

  • Do not give in to inappropriate requests that may allow the student to avoid the problem.

Yüklə 75,45 Kb.

Dostları ilə paylaş:
1   2   3   4   5   6

Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur © 2024
rəhbərliyinə müraciət

    Ana səhifə