Referring a Student for Help
Often when a student is distressed, a faculty member or staff member can help through listening, encouraging open discussion, giving reassurance and offering basic advice.
There are times when a student needs professional help to navigate problems. Some signs that may indicate a student needs assistance are:
- The student remains distressed following multiple attempts by you or others to be helpful.
- The student has become increasingly isolated, irritable, or disconnected.
- The student’s behavior reflects helplessness or hopelessness.
- The student shows significant changes in mood or behavior.
- You find yourself doing "counseling" rather than consultation or advising.
How to Refer
- Speak to the student in a direct, concerned, caring manner.
- If the student resists the suggestion of counseling, be caring but firm in your judgment that counseling would be helpful. Be specific with the reasons you are concerned.
- Be knowledgeable in advance about the services of CAPS. Students often respond better when you can tell them what to expect.
- Offer the student the use of your phone to call (973) 761-9500 and make the appointment. A student is more likely to follow through and keep an appointment that was made “publicly” and agreed upon in your presence.
- Walk the student to CAPS (2nd Floor, Mooney Hall) if you feel the student is unable to wait for an appointment (i.e. suicidal or unable to function or to care of self) and ask to see the Psychologist on Duty. Each day one Staff Psychologist is on duty for walk-in/emergency appointments.
- If the student prefers off-campus resources, explain that CAPS maintains a list local therapists and specialized resources.
- If you are unsure if a referral is needed or how to go about it, call CAPS (973) 761-9500 for a consultation. CAPS will also come to your department to share information about services and how to make a referral.