Below are tips for referring a student to the Paine College Counseling & Wellness Center and a Referral Form to assist in the process:
- Speak directly to the student about your concerns, preferably in private. People in distress are almost always receptive to an expression of genuine interest, caring, and concern.
- Be specific about the behaviors you've observed that have caused your concern (e.g., falling grades, drinking too much, crying a lot, withdrawing from friends, statements about suicide, etc.). Clearly stating your observations makes it more difficult for the person to deny that a problem exists and also lets the person know that you care enough to notice. Do not be confrontational.
- Remember that, except in cases of emergency, the decision whether to accept a referral to counseling rests with the person. If the student refuses the idea of counseling, it's usually best not to push. Do not be confrontational.
- Don't try to deceive or trick the person into counseling. Attempting to fool the individual will only diminish his or her trust in you and in the counseling process.
- Many people have negative preconceptions about counseling based upon stereotypes. Educate the individual on the process of counseling.
- Let the person know that counseling is free and voluntary and that he or she can terminate the process at any time.
- Make sure the individual knows that counseling is confidential and that counselors work hard to understand students, to see things from their point of view, and to then collaboratively help them to figure out solutions.
- Assist the person in making an appointment with a counselor. If the person is really upset, or if you're worried that he or she might not follow through, suggest that the individual make an appointment now. Some faculty, staff, and friends have even brought students directly to the Counseling Center when that level of support has been necessary.
Please remember that because of confidentiality constraints, counselors cannot talk with you about a student you have referred without a written release from that student. Also, please submit concerns within a 24 hour period, unless it is an emergency. Please see Emergency Services for additional information.