By: Counseling and Psychological Services
The Counseling and Psychological Services office has a guide for faculty who may have students struggling with personal concerns. You'll find important information on how to identify students who may benefit from a referral for personal counseling and the steps you can take to refer a students for a consultation. View view the Faculty Guide.
People dealing with personal concerns or problems tend to show signs that they are struggling in some way. It is important that you know your own limitations in providing assistance to students and that you are aware of times when the best option is a referral for personal counseling. The following brief list of indicators may be useful in assessing whether or not a referral should be made:
- Talking about Suicide: If you become aware of a student who is thinking about suicide, please make an immediate referral to Counseling and Psychological Services on the St. Paul Campus (651) 962-6780, or on the Minneapolis campus (651) 962-4750. You can also call for a consultation if you are unsure of an appropriate intervention or if the student is reluctant to take action. If a student clearly states the intent to commit suicide, call Public Safety 651-962-5100 (St. Paul campus) or (651) 962-4100 (Minneapolis Campus). Off campus resources include in Ramsey County the Regions Hospital Crisis Program, (651) 254-9200, or the Hennepin County Crisis Intervention Center, (612) 347-3161.
- Stating a Need for Help: Students will often come to faculty or staff members with direct requests for assistance. Listening carefully to students and their concerns can provide ample evidence to support your decision to refer for personal counseling.
- Academic Problems: Students who have noticeable negative changes in their academic performance also may be feeling overwhelmed with other areas of their lives. Some students come to classes with difficulty concentrating, performing well on exams, and achieving academically. If the possibility of a learning disability exists, a counselor can meet with a student for a consultation appointment to discuss evaluation and treatment options.
- Observable Changes: Distinct changes in academic performance, withdrawal from others, changes in class participation, crying, outbursts of anger, increased or decreased activity, and poor attendance are examples of behavioral changes that you may observe. Severe depression, extreme activity level, conversations that do not make sense, and a marked decline in personal hygiene are examples of possibly serious psychological problems. Any of these observable changes may merit a referral for counseling.
- Psychosomatic Complaints: Students who report physical illness or symptoms that cannot be supported by medical evidence may be experiencing psychological problems. Psychosomatic symptoms are very real for the student and should not be treated lightly.
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Coming to class or a meeting when intoxicated or high is a sign that drug and/or alcohol abuse is a serious problem. Often people drink or take drugs as a way to cope with and alleviate other problems in their life. Unfortunately, the substance abuse itself becomes a problem, one that interferes with social, academic, and work functioning.
How to Make a Referral for Psychological Counseling
If a student approaches you with a problem, take the time to listen in a non-judgmental and respectful manner. If you wish to approach the student with your concerns, do so directly and state your concerns clearly. Give the student one of the following phone numbers: Counseling and Psychological Services in St. Paul (651) 962-6780, or in Minneapolis (651) 962-4750. The student can call from your office or from their home. No appointments can be made without the student directly speaking to the secretary and asking for an appointment.
Workshops for Students
Staff from Counseling and Psychological Services can provide workshops on “Anxiety"; "Time Management"; and "Decision Making" to your students or to groups of students. We can also design specific workshops based on group needs and interest. We request advance notice prior to the date that you would like any type of presentation. While we cannot guarantee that all workshop requests will be met, we will make every effort to do so.
The counseling staff strives to provide services to the University of St. Thomas students that will enable them to succeed academically, personally, and in life. We know that you are concerned with similar goals and we believe that we can accomplish these goals most effectively the closer we work with each and every one of you. We look forward to hearing from you if you have questions, suggestions, and feedback about our services.