Information for Faculty and Staff

Faculty as helping resources for students

University students typically encounter a great deal of stress (i.e., academic, social, family, work, financial) during the course of their educational experience. While most students cope successfully with the demands of college life, for some the pressures can become overwhelming and unmanageable. Students with difficulties have a number of resources available to them. These resources include close friends, relatives, clergy and coaches. In fact, anyone who is seen as caring and trustworthy may be a potential resource in time of trouble.

In your role as faculty or staff, students may perceive you as someone who can lend a helping hand or be a good listener. Your expression of interest and concern may be a critical factor in helping a struggling student find appropriate assistance.

Guidelines for talking with a student in distress

If a student wants to talk:

  • Accept and respect what is said.
  • Help determine what needs to be done or changed.
  • Try to focus on an aspect of the problem that is manageable.
  • Avoid giving advice, judging, evaluating and criticizing.
  • Avoid easy answers such as, "Everything will be all right."
  • Help identify resources needed to improve things.
  • Help the person recall constructive methods used in the past to cope; get the person to agree to do something constructive to change things.
  • Offer yourself as a caring person until professional assistance has been obtained.
  • Trust your insight and reactions.
  • Let others know your concerns.
  • Attempt to address the person's needs and seek appropriate resources.
  • Avoid contributing unnecessarily to the person's guilt or sense of failure.
  • Do not swear secrecy or offer confidentiality to the person.
  • Encourage the person to seek help.
  • Respect the student's value system, even if you don't agree.
  • When called for, let the person know you are worried about their safety.
  • If you are concerned the student may be feeling hopeless and thinking about ending their life, ask if she/he is contemplating suicide. It is important to remember that talking about suicide is a cry for help and is not to be ignored. Seek help from one of the resources listed in this publication.
  • After the student leaves your office, make some notes documenting your interactions.
  • Consult with others on your experience.
The information on this page was reproduced with permission from the University of Florida’s Counseling Center.

Emergency Services

The Counseling Center offers after-hours emergency coverage for urgent mental health concerns such as suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, and other trauma.  Call the Counseling Center at 828-262-3180 and select the option to speak with the counselor on-call.

During operating hours, students in crisis can walk in any time.

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Contact Us
 

     

Physical Address: 
1st Floor, Miles Annas Building
614 Howard Street 
Boone, NC 28608-2044

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 32044
Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828-262-3180
Fax: 828-262-3182

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m-5:00 p.m

Initial Consultation Hours:
Monday - Friday:
8:30-11:00 a.m. & 1:00-4:00 p.m.

 - Please Note -
During Summer Sessions, Initial Consultation Hours at times may vary. Please contact us at (828) 262-3180 for our current schedule and to verify availability.

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