Student Referrals

Guide for Faculty/Staff

Many students seek counseling with the encouragement of faculty and staff. Professors and staff are often aware of a student who may benefit from meeting with a professional counselor. This guide is designed to give you the information needed to make a referral to the Student Counseling Center. This guide is summarized into specific steps at the end of this document.

Once you judge that a student is at risk, you will:

  1. Either refer them to the Student Counseling Center,
  2. Call the Student Counseling Center to consult (ext. 7234, 7473, or 7251), or
  3. Direct them to the secure online intake form.

If you judge the student is at an immediate risk to harm:

  1. Call Campus Safety (479-215-5000)
  2. Have a colleague accompany you while you wait for Campus Safety to
  3. respond.

When should I refer a student to the student counseling center?
Generally, it is a good idea to suggest counseling if a student appears to be experiencing depression, anxiety, a significant relational conflict, exhibiting disruptive behavior or is in some type of crisis. Clues to these problems might include a marked change in a student's quality of work or appearance, their report of experiencing a significant traumatic event or hints the student drops in a conversation that elicits significant concern for the student, e.g., "I don't think I can go on like this any more." A helpful way to approach the student is to say, "I noticed … and I'm wondering how you're doing." If he or she responds in a way that indicates more help might be needed, suggest that the Student Counseling Center staff is available to talk to students who are going through a hard time. Let them know that you would be glad to help them set up an appointment. If you are unsure how to handle a particular situation, the counseling staff is available to you for consultation.

How does a student go about making an appointment for counseling?
To make an appointment for counseling, a student needs to complete an intake form. Once the intake form is submitted, the student is contacted by the Student Counseling Center to schedule their initial appointment. It is best for the student to take the initiative in setting up an appointment, rather than having someone else make the appointment for them. We encourage faculty to follow-up with the student to see if they submitted their intake form. Some faculty/staff report accessing the intake form in their office and then leave while the student completes and submits the intake form.

What do I do when a student in crisis shows up in my office or job site?
If a student is in a crisis, they need not submit the intake form but instead come directly to the Student Counseling Center (at 100 S. Holly Street: ext. 7234 or 7473) or to the Student Development Divisional office in the Walker Student Center. In the event a student is at an immediate risk of harming themselves or someone else, Campus Safety should be contacted (524.7403). Clearly state to Campus Safety that you need immediate assistance, give your name, your location and state the nature of the problem. It is best to have another JBU employee accompany you and the student while you wait for Campus Safety to respond.

How does the Student Counseling Center handle emergency situations with students?
When we become aware of a potential or actual crisis, we attempt to respond immediately. If the student is in our office, we assess their risk for harm, inquire about their support and connect them with resources to ensure their needs are addressed. This may involve contacting their parents, a Residence Hall Director (RD) or other relevant supportive services. Appropriate follow-up care is then arranged. Our objective is to strategize with the student by proactively securing their safety. We recognize the challenge of respecting students' legal rights as an adult while also appropriating our professional responsibility to help keep them safe.

Does the Student Counseling Center ever refer students for off-campus counseling?
Yes, sometimes a student is best served by specialized treatment not offered by our own counselors. We carefully assess a student's needs and resources before we make any recommendation for off-campus treatment. When a referral is necessary, we help students find a local professional from our referral network.

How do I know if students I've referred actually come to counseling?
The Student Counseling Center must honor students' privacy and confidentiality. But if a student tells us that he or she has come to counseling by your referral and gives us consent to contact you, we will contact you (usually by email) to inform you that their appointment was kept. In the event a student is in imminent danger of causing harm to him or herself or to others, you may be asked to be part of a plan to protect the student.

Who are the Counselors in the Student Counseling Center?
The Director and staff therapist are licensed counselors. Each staff member has advanced training in therapeutic practice and in particular interventions. Occasionally, graduate counseling students intern in the Student Counseling Center. They provide counseling services under the supervision of the Director and a graduate faculty member. Brief descriptions of the counselors along with their picture are provided on the Student Counseling Center's web page.