As faculty and staff, students may turn to you for support in times of crisis. Please make use of the resources on this page to identify and support distressed students, and to refer them to Counseling Services as needed.

Available Counseling Services for Students

Any currently enrolled Lawrence student is eligible for counseling services. Students are encouraged to make their own appointments, if possible. There may be a wait of a few days before seeing a counselor for a scheduled appointment. If the need for an appointment is urgent, please let us know and we will work with you and/or the student to address this need. 

What to do in an emergency situation

In emergency situations, stay calm. Find someone to stay with the student while calls are made.

During business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, you may contact Wellness Services at 920-832-6574 for consultation and assistance. Staff will make every effort to be available as soon as possible to assist you and the student.

If the student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, or act in a disruptive, bizarre, or a highly irrational way, call:

  • 911 (9-911 on campus phones)
  • Campus Safety at 920-832-6999 (9-6999 on campus phones)
  • 24/7 LU Counseling Line at 920-419-8167
  • Outagamie County Crisis Intervention at 920-832-4646

Request a Consultation

If you have concerns about a student, counselors are available for consultation. Some of the ways we might help include:

  • Assessing the seriousness of the situation

  • Suggesting potential resources

  • Determining the best way to make a referral

  • Helping you clarify your own feelings about the student and the situation

If you would like to speak with a counselor about your concerns, please contact us at 920-832-6574, or via email at

Referring Students to Counseling Services

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?

Referral Form

Use this form to share your concern about a student and to refer a student to Counseling Services - 


Print and send the completed form in a sealed envelope to:
Richard Jazdzewski,
Dean of Wellness Services,
Counseling Services, SPC 3

Student knowledge and permission is not required for counseling staff members to receive information about them. Student knowledge and written permission is required for counseling staff members to disclose information about them (including whether they are clients). Students have the right to withhold permission for release of information or only give permission for the release of selected information about their situation.

Helping Students in Distress

This information is provided to assist you in becoming aware of signs of a distressed student, things that you might do to help the student, indicators of possible suicidal ideation, and when and how to make effective referrals for additional help.

Tips for Recognizing Troubled Students

At one time or another, everyone feels depressed or upset. However, there are three levels of student distress which, when present over a period of time, suggest that the problems are more than the “normal” ones.

Level 1

  • Although not disruptive to others in your class or elsewhere, these behaviors may indicate that something is wrong and that help may be needed
  • Serious grade problems
  • Unaccountable change from good to poor performance
  • Change from frequent attendance to excessive absences
  • Change in pattern of interaction
  • Marked change in mood, motor activity, or speech
  • Marked deterioration in physical appearance

Level 2

  • These behaviors may indicate significant emotional distress or either reluctance or inability to acknowledge a need for personal help
  • Repeated request for special consideration
  • New or regularly occurring behavior which pushes the limits and/or may be disruptive to the class
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional response

Level 3

  • These behaviors may usually show that the student is in crisis and needs emergency care
  • Highly disruptive behavior (hostility, aggression, etc.)
  • Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech, disjointed thoughts)
  • Loss of contact with reality (see/hearing things that are not there, beliefs or actions at odds with reality)
  • Overt expressions or current suicidal thoughts or plans
  • Homicidal threats

Responding to Distressed Students

Responding to Level 1 or Level 2 Behavior:

  • Talk to the student in private when you both have time
  • Express your concern in non-judgmental terms
  • Listen to the student and repeat the gist of what the student is saying
  • Respect the student's values
  • Ask if the student is considering suicide
  • Make appropriate referrals if necessary
  • Try to make sure the student understands what action is necessary

Responding to Level 3 Behavior:

Responding to Suicidality: Do's and Don'ts

  • 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.