How to Refer to Our Services
If you determine that your student would benefit from our services, we recommend that you encourage them to call us to learn more about our services or to come in during our available Initial Consultation hours. Once your student arrives at the Counseling Center, we will meet with them to determine what services we can offer, either at the Counseling Center or within the community, that would be the best fit for their individual needs.
If we find that a student is in need of more care than we can provide, and thus not a good fit for our short-term treatment model, we will assist your student in finding resources in the community or on campus that can provide them with the appropriate support.
If your student is reluctant to seek counseling, you might consider some ways of encouraging their participation:
- Approach the student you are concerned about in a gentle, caring, and non-judgmental way.
- State why you are concerned by describing specific behaviors.
- Explain that normal people seek and receive counseling.
- When referring students to the Counseling Center, suggest it as a possible resource rather than telling a student to go because he or she "needs help" or is "causing a problem" for others.
- Present the Counseling Center as a resource used by over a thousand students each year.
- Share with your student that receiving counseling can be like taking a class to learn more about yourself.
- Remind students that they do not have to have a "deep dark" problem, nor does the problem need to reach crisis proportions for them to benefit from professional help. We would rather have someone come in with a small problem than wait for it to become a big one.
- Reluctant students might also be relieved to know that they can just come in for Initial Consultation hours to speak with a counselor on a one-time basis without making a commitment to on-going therapy.
- Inform the student that the Counseling Center staff members try to help people help themselves.
- Remind the student that they do not always have to know what's wrong before asking for help.
- Remember that many students will feel ambivalent about seeking help from any source, including the Counseling Center. You may need to gently remind them that what they are currently doing to solve their problem(s) is not working.
- Students who are ambivalent about receiving mental health services may often make statements such as, "I do not want to go there because my problem is not that serious", or, "I do not want to go there because I think my problems are too serious and they can not help me". In either of the two preceding cases, the person you are trying to refer may be fearful of the unknown. A direct response to such objections can sometimes be helpful, "If your problem is not appropriate for the Counseling Center, they can make sure that you are directed to the right place".
- Remind your student that services are confidential to the extent permitted by state law and will not be disclosed without written permission.
- Encourage your student to check out our website and maybe even try our anonymous online screening tools.
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.