The Counseling Center can provide workshops to train faculty and staff in identifying, intervening and referring students who appear to be in distress for any number of reasons.
These workshops can be made available to any department which requests them. We will be willing to arrange the workshop during a regular departmental meeting time, if given enough advance notice. Presentations can be between 15 minutes to discussions that last about one hour.
As a faculty or staff member, you are in an excellent position to observe the daily or weekly behavior of a student in your classroom. A student’s behavior, especially if it is inconsistent with your previous observations, could well constitute a need for intervention. Your ability to recognize the signs of emotional distress and courage to acknowledge your concerns to the student are often noted by students as the most significant factor in their successful problem resolution. You can have a profound effect by openly acknowledging your awareness of their distress, expressing your concern, and willingness to help them explore alternatives. Some symptoms you may observe:
- Inability to Concentrate
- Persistent Worrying
- Social Isolation
- Increased Irritability
- Missed Class/Assignments
- Disheveled Appearance
- Mood Swings
- Depression or Anxiety
Whenever possible, speak directly and honestly to a student when you sense academic and/or personal distress. As appropriate, please consider the following:
- See the student in private-this may help minimize embarrassment and defensiveness.
- Discuss your observations and perceptions of their situation and express your concerns.
- Listen carefully to the student’s issue and try to view his or her perspective without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing and also explore alternatives.
- Attempt to identify the student’s concern as well as your own concerns or uneasiness.
- Strange and inappropriate behavior should not be ignored-Comment directly on what you have observed.
- Involve yourself only as far as you want… In an attempt to help a troubled student, you may become more involved than time or skill permits. A referral to the Counseling Center is appropriate.
Call (540) 665-4530 from your office to have the student connect to us or walk the student to the Wellness Center in Racey Hall.
Please note that all our clinicians may be in a session, so we may not be able to return phone calls/see a student in our office. You can also email the Center to ask for a time to consult about a particular student. Please Do Not put the student’s name in an email. Leave a voicemail with the names and details.
Please note that the Counseling Center provides free and confidential services to all matriculating students who are enrolled in degree-seeking programs. Our Center has a Relaxation Room equipped with Massage chair, Aromatherapy, Biofeedback, Light Therapy & more!
After hours (5pm-9am), please contact Public Safety at (540) 678-4444 and you may also provide the student with the Concern 24hr hotline at (540) 667-0145.
For Faculty and Staff requiring counseling services, please check with Human Resources at 540-665-1296 about their EAP program.