When to Make a Referral
Even though a student asks you for help with a problem and you are willing to help, there are circumstances when you should suggest additional resources:
- You are not comfortable in handling the situation.
- Personality differences might interfere with your ability to help.
- You know the student personally (friend, neighbor, friend of a friend) and think you may not be objective enough to help.
- The student is reluctant to discuss the situation with you.
- You feel little progress in dealing with the student about these issues over time.
- You feel overwhelmed or are pressed for time.
How to Make a Referral
To the student:
- Be frank with the student about the limits of your time, ability, expertise, and/or objectivity.
- Let the student know that you care and think they should get assistance from another source.
- Assure them that many students seek help during college.
- Try to help the student understand what to expect if they follow through on the referral.
Consider these questions before making the referral:
- What are the appropriate and available resources for the student?
- With whom is the student likely to feel most comfortable?
- Who will make the initial contact, you or the student?
This form may be used to share your concern about a student and to refer a student to Counseling Services.
Faculty Referral form.pdf - Print this form
Please send the completed form in a sealed envelope to:
Associate Dean of Students for Health and Wellness,
Counseling Services, SPC 3
For counseling staff members to receive information about students does not require students’ knowledge or permission. According to law and professional ethics, for counseling staff members to disclose any information about students (including whether they are clients) does require students’ knowledge and written permission. Students have the right to withhold permission for release of information or only give permission for the release of selected information about their situation.
In an EMERGENCY
Try to stay calm. Find someone to stay with the student while calls are made.
For students expressing a direct threat to themselves or others, or who act in a disruptive, bizarre, or a highly irrational way, call:
- 9-911 on your office phone (or 911 on a local cell phone) if you feel anyone poses an imminent threat to self or others
- Counseling Services (8 a.m.–noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday) 6574 on your office phone (or 920-832-6574 on a local cell phone), for immediate consultation. Evenings and weekends call the 24/7 Lawrence Crisis Line 920-419-8167.
For students who exhibit severe anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, or any other intense emotional disturbance, but for whom no immediate harm appears likely, please call:
- Counseling Services (8 a.m.–noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday) ext. 6574 (or 920-832-6574) for consultation and referral
- 24/7 Counseling Crisis Line 920-419-8167
Do's and Don'ts in Responding to Suicidality
- DO show that you take the student’s feelings seriously.
- DO let the student know that you want to help.
- DO listen attentively and empathize.
- DO reassure that with help they will recover.
- DO stay close until help is available or risk has passed.
- DON’T try to shock or challenge the student.
- DON’T analyze the student’s motives.
- DON’T become argumentative.
- DON’T react with shock or disdain at the student’s thoughts and feelings.
- DON’T minimize the student’s distress.