Faculty Guide: When and how to refer

When Should I Refer?

The following are possible scenarios when it would be appropriate to refer a student.

  1. Student doing poorly, you suspect poor study habits
  2. Student approaches you to confide personal issues
  3. Student doesn't approach you, but you feel concerned (Change in performance, appearance, attendance, and/or mood.)
  4. Suicidal student
  5. Erratic/hostile student (risk to self and/or others)

What approach should I take when referring a student to Counselling Services?

Your approach will depend on the perceived level of distress and risk; the more imminent the level of risk to self and others, the more directive your role.

  • Inform the student of our services
  • Reassure the student of our services and competence
  • Encourage the student to come to counselling on his/her own
  • A more directive role is required if harm to self or others is suspected (i.e. escort student to counselling)
  • Call us at anytime to consult

What should I say to a distressed student?

Explain what you see:

  • "I have noticed that your grades and involvement in class have dropped."
  • "You appear distant and distracted lately."
  • "You have missed a lot of classes. Is everything okay?"

Express concern:

  • "I am concerned about you."
  • "I care about you and want to see you get the support you need."
  • "I am worried about your academic performance and really want to see you succeed."

Directive approach:

  • "I can't let you leave my office until I know you are safe."
  • "I will walk you to Counselling now."
  • "I am going to call Counselling now and have them come down to talk with you."