Because you see students on a regular basis, you may be the first to notice someone who is struggling or you may be the first person in whom a student confides. Your expression or interest and concern can be critical in helping a student get back on track academically and emotionally. Consider speaking with the student privately and expressing your concern. “I’ve noticed ____ and I’m concerned” is a good starting point.
How do I refer a student to Counseling Services?
Generally our services are scheduled ahead of time. Encourage the student to call 507.457.5330 or stop by our office at 222 Integrated Wellness Complex between 8am and 4:30pm to fill out some paperwork. They will be given the next available appointment. Students must schedule their own appointments. In our experience, when a faculty member makes the call, students often do not keep the appointment.
However, if you or the student feel the concern is urgent, please ask the student to come directly to Counseling Services or walk the student over yourself. We reserve part of every day for such appointments, and we make every effort to see these students immediately or as soon as possible. It is helpful, but not necessary, to alert us of these situations.
How much can Counseling Services tell me about the student I referred?
We understand your concern about students referred to Counseling Services. However, we are legally and ethically bound by confidentiality. This means that:
- We are only able to share information, including appointment attendance, with signed permission by the student.
- We cannot discuss specifics of the student’s situation or treatment recommendations.
- We can answer general questions regarding the referral process or mental health concerns.
- We can offer consultation regarding how to approach a student with your concerns.
- We can take information from you about a student with whom you are concerned.
What if the student I referred is reluctant to seek services?
It can help to acknowledge the student’s fears about seeking help. Then consider normalizing the process of counseling. Counseling Services is an accessible (and free) on-campus resource for students. The counselors see hundreds of students each year for a wide variety of reasons. Reluctant students may be relieved to know that they can come once without making a commitment to a series of sessions. Also reassure the student that information shared in a counseling session will be kept confidential (unless he or she is at risk for harm to self or others).
Ultimately, it is the student’s decision whether or not to come to Counseling Services. Sometimes, students are simply not ready to seek change or accept added support, and we must then accept this decision.
What should I do after I’ve referred the student?
It is often helpful to arrange a time to follow up with the student. This communicates your concern and interest.