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Troubled-Distressed Students

From time to time students in your group will share concerns they are coping with and/or you will have concerns about their behavior.  Unfortunately these types of situations do not always go away on their own.  We are also available to consult with campus groups and organizations who may be concerned about issues affecting the personal and academic well-being of their members. 

Being available and listening are very important things that you can do. However, knowing when and how to make referrals is the most important role you can play in helping others regain the emotional balance needed to cope and get back on track. 

Remember, you have not failed if YOU cannot help someone resolve their problems.

If the student resists referral and continues sharing personal information or acting out, contact the Career and Counseling Center staff to discuss your concern(s) or to explore referral options.

Some points to keep in mind when talking to another student about their behavior:

  • Try to talk in private.
  • Remind them that successful people seek support when needed.  Problems do not need to reach crisis proportions for students to benefit from professional help. 
  • Make sure they know any contact or information shared with the counseling staff is confidential except with the student’s written permission (or in the case of minors).
  • Do not try to counsel a student over an extended period of time.  Do not try to counsel a student with a serious problem.  Your responsibility is to show caring for the person:  "The best way I can help you is to refer you to someone else who is professionally trained."
  • Don't wait until it is too late to refer.  Again, you are not a failure if you can't help someone.
NOTE:  Working with a counselor does not mean a student will be in counseling forever.  Often short term counseling (4-6 meetings) is sufficient.