As a faculty or staff member interacting daily with students, you are in an excellent position to recognize behavioral changes that characterize an emotionally troubled student. A student’s behavior, especially if it is inconsistent with your previous observations, could well constitute an attempt to draw attention to her/his plight as “a cry for help.”
Students often experience significant changes in their lives during the course of their education. The stress of academic, social, work, and/or financial concerns are often inter-related and may result in a student turning to you for help.
Your ability to recognize the signs of emotional distress, and your courage to acknowledge your concerns directly to the student, often are noted by students as the most significant factor in their successful problem resolution. Often times our own feelings (i.e. uneasiness, anxiety, fear) can be excellent indicators that something is not quite right.
If you ever have these types of feelings and are not quite sure what to do, this guide can be helpful. You are also welcome to call the Counseling Center for a consultation whenever you are unsure of a situation.
Distinguishing between distressed, disruptive, and dangerous student behavior:
General Rule: If it doesn't feel right, it's usually not right. Trust your gut!
Openly acknowledging to students that you are aware of their distress, that you are sincerely concerned about their welfare, and that you are willing to help them explore their alternatives, can have a profound effect.
We encourage you, whenever possible, to speak directly and honestly to a student when you sense that she/he is in academic and/or personal distress.
It can be helpful to try to guide the student to more fully express and clarify his/her feelings and thoughts.
Again, suggest that the student see a counselor in the Counseling Center if his/her problems seem too extensive or complex for you to provide direct assistance.
If you are unsure of how to handle a specific student, we encourage you to consult with the director, assistant director, or with one of our counselors on staff.
If not an emergency, call the director at either 410-532-5379 or 443-846-6146, or call the assistant director at 410-532-5434, state who you are (faculty, staff, administrator) and as to speak with us. We will return your call as soon as possible.
A brief consultation may help you sort out the relevant issues, explore alternative approaches and suggest new ways to cope with the anxiety or stress the student may be experiencing.
Overall, when dealing with most students in crisis situations, conveying your concern and willingness to help in any way you can (including referral) is probably the most important thing you can do. Your support, encouragement (including referral), and reassurance will be particularly valuable to a student in crisis.
When you have determined that a referral to the Counseling Center is appropriate, you can be most helpful by clearly and concisely telling the student why you think counseling would be helpful.
You might also tell the student a few facts about our services:
Early intervention is preferable to crisis intervention. To ensure prompt attention, it is best to ask in advance for an appointment.
Requesting appointments online is the easiest and fastest way to seek counseling.
Having the student request the appointment increases her/his responsibility and commitment to come for counseling; however, there may be times, especially if the student is in crisis, when it is advantageous for you to call and make the appointment and/or accompany the student to our office.
We will schedule the student with one of our staff as quickly as possible.
In the instance that the Counseling Center is on a wait list, it is still best to refer the student to us so that we can provide them with the appropriate off-campus referrals.
Clinical staff can assess the urgency of the student’s request for services and potentially provide triage care. Referrals can depend upon whether the student wants to use insurance or needs a sliding scale.
In some situations, it may be imperative to request the student be seen as soon as possible.
If a student's situation is urgent, she/he will probably have concerns involving:
Call Public Safety if you believe:
Individual counseling is available to all enrolled Notre Dame of Maryland students. After requesting an appointment, students will be scheduled with the next available counselor. If further intervention is needed, the student will be referred to off-campus treatment providers.
Students can receive crisis assistance or interpersonal therapy throughout the academic year.
Please note that availability of counseling sessions can change based upon counselor availability, and that the course of treatment could change based on student need and the professional judgment of the counseling staff.
|Counseling Center||410-532-5384||Theresa 016||Monday - Thursday, 10 AM - 7PM, Friday 10 AM- 3PM|
|Director of Counseling Services: Amy Provan, Psy. D.||410-532-5379||Theresa 013|
|Assistant Director of Counseling Services: Elizabeth Scott, MS, LCPC||410-532-5434||Theresa 010||Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM|
|Office of Public Safety||410-532-5360 or Ext. 6666 for emergencies||Gibbons 002||24 Hours/Day, 7 Days/Week - Call 911|
Note: Contact the Counseling Center for a more extensive referral list.
Our sincere thanks to the Career Development and Counseling Center at California State University, Fullerton, Long Beach, Brooklyn College New York, University of New Hampshire, and the California Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education whose combined efforts we have liberally borrowed to include on our website.