Helping Students in Distress

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Please follow the Helping Students in Distress Faculty/Staff Response Guide when assisting students in distress.

The Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center is available to assist in addressing concerns faculty and staff members may have for students. Faculty and staff members of Mercy College who have a concern about a student can contact Suzanne Hall for assistance.

After Hours Support Services

Zepf Center Crisis CARE (Toledo)419-904-CARE (2273)
National Suicide Prevention Hotline800-273-8255

How to Refer a Student to the Counseling and Wellness Center

As soon as you are aware of an issue, you are encouraged to refer the student for counseling. The sooner there is an intervention, the better. If you are not sure how to approach a student, please do not hesitate to consult with the Director of Counseling and Wellness Center.

Some of the most common reasons to refer a student include:

  • Self-disclosure of a personal problem
  • Difficulty adjusting to college life
  • Inability to complete assignments
  • Excessive class or exam absences
  • Inability to concentrate in class
  • Abrupt decline in academic performance
  • Inappropriate classroom or social behavior
  • Frequent crying
  • Suspicion of substance abuse
  • Suspicion of eating disorder
  • Suspicion of physical abuse
  • Difficulties in relationships
  • Social isolation
  • Decline in personal grooming
  • Desire for self-improvement

Effective strategies for referring students:

  • Speak directly and show concern.
  • Give students positive reasons for your referral. Identify the benefits of attending counseling and working toward behavior change or self-improvement.
  • Minimize the stigma associated with help-seeking behavior. Reinforce that it is OK to ask for help and that many people benefit from counseling.
  • If the environment allows, offer the use of your telephone to make the first appointment. You may also offer to walk them to the counseling office or you can also request the counselor, if available, come to your office while the student is there.
  • Once a student has made an appointment, ask the student to let you know how things worked out. This shows your continued concern for the student’s welfare. Students have the right to share what they wish to from his/her counseling session, however, the counselor is bound by confidentiality and is not able to reveal whether or not a student has participated in services without his/her permission.
  • If the student refuses to seek counseling, then respect the decision.

Safety and support : Campus Assessment Response and Evaluation (CARE) Team

The CARE Team helps prevent and intervene in incidents where members of the campus community are distressed or engaging in concerning behaviors.