As a faculty or staff member, you are in an excellent position to recognize a student in distress. Your ability to understand the signs of emotional distress and your willingness to acknowledge your concerns directly with the student are key. In fact, students often report that this initial contact is one of the most significant factors in successfully confronting their problems.
In general, you should consider referring students to the counseling center if their problems have compromised their ability to function academically, personally, or socially.
It can be helpful to remind students that a situation does not have to reach crisis proportions to benefit from professional help. Acknowledging, validating, and discussing the student's fears and concerns about seeking help may also be useful. Additionally, you can emphasize that, although some people feel that seeking counseling is an admission of weakness or failure, it in fact takes considerable courage and integrity to acknowledge one's limitations and seek help from others. You also may offer to accompany the student to the counseling office or to assist them in setting up an appointment.
Participating in counseling should always be a personal choice. If the student resists referral and you remain uncomfortable with the situation, you can contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 860.768.4482 to discuss your concern. However, if you are concerned about the student's immediate safety or the safety of others, you should call Public Safety at 860.768.7777.