At some time every student feels stressed, anxious or depressed.
However, when these feelings persist over a long period there may be a problem which is greater than those faced by the general student population. The following will guide you in deciding if a student should be referred to counseling.
What to look for in a troubled studentA student in crisis may:
- be hostile, aggressive, violent
- speak incoherently with unconnected thoughts, garbled or slurred speech
- see, hear or believe things that are not present or possible
- talk openly about suicide or make homicidal threats.
What to do for a troubled studentA student in crisis needs immediate help.
- Do not leave the student alone.
- Contact the University counseling staff at 717-871-7821 or emergency contact person at Witmer Infirmary at 717-871-4636 or the University Police at 911.
- Stay with the student until help arrives. Reassure the student.
- Be calm, maintain eye contact and listen nonjudgementally.
Student referrals to counseling
A student with significant emotional distress or one who manages but needs help should be referred to the University Counseling Center. Students vary in their acceptance of a referral to a counseling center. The following steps will make it easier for you.
- Do not hold the discussion in a public place.
- Be calm, maintain eye contact, focus on what is said without making judgements.
- Acknowledge student's concerns as important but do not overstate the concerns.
- Inform student of the free, confidential counseling services on campus.
- Offer them your phone to make an appointment or even walk with them to the Center.
- If they refuse a referral, accept that with respect for their decision. Say something like: "Please take the telephone number and should you change your mind you can reach specially trained people who have helped many other students."
If you would like a printed copy of the "Guide to Making a Counseling Referrals," please contact the Counseling Center at ext. 7821 and a copy will be sent to you.