Counseling Services Resources for Faculty
Often faculty and staff will encounter student behavior that is concerning or distressing. When students, in some way, violate the code of conduct or engage in behavior that is threatening to others or disruptive to the learning process, the best route of mediation is to address the behavior through the following options: complete an incident report; make contact with the Vice President for Preparedness, Compliance, and Students; or contact the Code of Conduct Administrator.
If a student's behavior is indicative of needing support, Counseling Services may be able to help.
Any time a student is acting in a manner that is threatening or violent, including making verbal threats of harm to self of others, Campus Police should be contacted immediately at ext. 3911.
Student Counseling and Outreach
Because faculty and staff are often in a unique position to recognize when a student may be having a difficult time, we encourage outreach to the student and/or Counseling Services when a concern arises. If a student exhibits marked changes in personality, mood, or typical (observed) behavior, it may be an indication of a deeper problem; in these situations, the student may benefit from meeting with a counselor. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact Counseling Services to discuss any concerning behavior and to determine the best course of action in making a referral.
Signs That a Student May Need Support:
- Uncharacteristic decline in academic work, or athletic performance
- Uncharacteristic absences from class or other commitments
- Multiple (repeated) requests for exceptions/special consideration
- Avoidance of faculty, staff, coaches, and other students
- Repeatedly confiding in you with personal problems
- Difficulty speaking or articulating thoughts
- Noticeable change in personal hygiene
- Uncharacteristic irritability
- Excessive procrastination
- Dramatic weight changes
- Difficulty staying awake
- Intense emotional states
- Indications of substance use/abuse
Referring a Student to Counseling:
When making a referral to counseling, it's important to remember that it's the student's choice to seek and and engage in counseling. The student has the right to explore the experience to see if it works for him or her. You may recommend that the student come to G-211 to schedule a meeting to discuss counseling, or that the student call extension 2234 to schedule an appointment, or you may, in some cases, choose to walk with the student to G-211. If you would like suggestions how to approach a particular situation, we happy to consult with you regarding the options.
- A student may share something in “confidence” that you are hesitant to report. Confidentiality does not apply when personal safety issues arise, and faculty and staff are not bound by confidentiality unless acting in a protected, professional capacity.
- Ask the student: “Are you talking with anyone about this?” Let the student know you can recommend someone who can help if he/she is not speaking with a professional.
- Let the student know you will support him/her in getting help.
- Help the student to understand that talking with a counselor is a personal choice.
- Avoid clinical terms or trying to diagnose a student. Unless a student discloses a particular diagnoses, describe behavior in concrete terms based on personal observations.
- The Guidelines for Helping Students in Crisis is available in public folders and is emailed annually.
- Students deciding whether counseling may be useful for them can benefit from taking a free, confidential online assessment at mentalhealthscreening.org/BristolCC.
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