How to Refer

Some guidelines that may be helpful in your interaction with the student you want to refer to Student Counseling Services:

  • Speak with the student openly and honestly. Share your concerns directly and concretely.
  • Be specific, but kind. Respectfully share your observations of the student's behavior(s) that lead you to conclude that a referral might be helpful.
  • Avoid judgmental comments or implications about personality or character.
  • Anticipate student concerns and fears about seeking counseling. Try to address them. Click here for some examples of issues students might raise.
  • Respect the student's right to reject the referral suggestion. However, if the student has talked about suicide or harming others, be clear with the student that you will need to notify someone in authority to help assist with the situation. Please click here to see guidelines that address this difficult situation.
  • Offer to assist in making an appointment by dialing the number (ext. 3390) or by walking with the student to the Student Counseling Services office in the "Counseling Services" building located at 3259 Pioneer Ave.
  • If you would like to discuss the situation with a counselor before making a referral you can contact Student Counseling Services at (ext. 3390) or contact the Director, Dr. Alan Goodwin at the same extension.
  • Create a positive expectation. It is important that you firmly believe in the competence of the professional counselor and communicate that belief to the student. A successful outcome is more likely and your credibility is heightened by integrating this measure into the process.
  • Some faculty have called to make an appointment while the student was in the faculty member's office. Unless the student requests a specific counselor for the intake interview, he/she will be assigned to an available counselor by our secretary.
  • Leave the option open, except in emergencies, for the student to accept or refuse counseling. If the student is skeptical or reluctant for whatever reason, simply express your acceptance of those feelings so that your own relationship with the student is not jeopardized. Give the student an opportunity to consider other alternatives by suggesting that he/she might need some time to think it over. If the student emphatically says "no," then respect that decision, and again leave the situation open for possible reconsideration at a later time.
  • Ask the student at a later date what action he/she has taken. Even if the student did not accept your attempted referral it will show your continued interest.