When To Refer A Student?
For many students, going to college is a satisfying experience - new challenges, new friends, new ideas, but for others, it can be difficult and sometimes frightening. Some students feel alone and uncertain. Old solutions to new problems are not always working, and they need help finding alternatives. Sometimes this inability to adjust leads to problems beyond transitory frustration or unhappiness, and they need professional help.
Faculty, staff, parents, and other students provide the link between troubled students and Counseling Services. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a student in distress:
- Changes in academic performance, such as deteriorating class work, poor performance on examinations, or a dramatic decrease in class attendance.
- Dependency, for example, the student hangs around you or makes excessive appointments to see a faculty or staff member during office hours.
- Physical changes, especially sudden weight loss or gain, deterioration in personal grooming, or extreme fatigue lasting beyond a day or two.
- Inability to initiate positive interaction with other students, for example, inappropriate social behavior or excessive shyness.
- Bizarre or strange behavior which is obviously inappropriate to the situation, for example, talking to invisible people.
- Behaviors that may indicate substance abuse.
- Euphoria, inappropriate laughter, or nonstop talking.
- Over-reaction to criticism, disagreements, and mistakes.
- Problems in significant relationships, for example family or spouse.
- Traumatic loss, including divorce or death of a family member or friend.
If you know a student who is displaying any of the above signs please contact us at (757) 683-4401.
The Referral Process
Suggest that the student come to Counseling Services during intake hours (1:30pm - 3:45pm, Monday through Thursday). It may be useful for you to walk the student over to our office.
If you are concerned about a student but are uncertain about the appropriateness of a referral, call Counseling Services for a consultation.
If the situation is an emergency, call the Receptionist while the student is with you and state, "The student needs an appointment immediately." Write down the appointment information (time, date, and location) for the student.
If the emergency takes place after office hours, call the Public Safety Office at (757) 683-4403. They will forward any messages to the Counselor on call.