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Counseling Center

REFERRING STUDENTS: A GUIDE FOR FACULTY & STAFF

If you are concerned about a student, please contact us at 646-312-2155 for a consultation. We will help you assess the seriousness of the student's behavior, guide you on how to approach the student to voice your concern, and explain how you can refer them to the Center. Your attention to the student can have the most favorable impact on their decision to get help.

Basic Guidelines for a Referral:

The following are basic guidelines on assessing a student's need for counseling and the steps you can take to refer them to the Center.

Be alert to signs of difficulty:

  • Mood: Extreme sadness, anxiety, anger, mood swings
  • Physical signs: Deteriorated grooming or physical state; pronounced weight changes; signs of substance abuse: dilated pupils, unsteady gait, slurred words, liquor on breath
  • Performance: Concentration difficulties, deteriorated performance, unexplained lateness or absences
  • Social behavior: Extreme or inappropriate withdrawal or dependency
  • Speech: Irrational or unusually rapid or slow speech; alludes to problems, worthless or guilty feelings, death or suicide

NOTE: You don't have to pry to detect such difficulties. Usually students signal their distress quite clearly.

Take such signs seriously. Don’t disregard what you've observed.

If possible, meet privately with the student. Allow sufficient time for the meeting.

Point out specifically the signs you've observed. Say you’re concerned, and ask what's wrong:

"I want to talk to you because I notice you've been late recently, you never participate in class anymore, and you seem troubled. I'm concerned about you. What's wrong?"

Discourage quick dismissals ("I'm fine—it’s nothing.") Say you really want to know what's wrong.

Listen to the student's explanation. Be open-minded about what you hear.

Decide if the problem is a false alarm, an "ordinary" problem, or an emergency:

A false alarm means that the student apparently doesn't have a problem, or already is in treatment to work on the problem. With false alarms, you needn't do anything further.

An "ordinary" problem is anything that troubles the student but falls short of an emergency—the student’s basic safety is not endangered. With ordinary problems follow these steps:

Inform the student about College Counseling Service:

"Did you know we have professional counselors on campus to help with problems like yours? The Counseling Center is located at the Annex building on the 9th floor. You can call or stop by to schedule an appointment."

If necessary, address the student's fears about counseling:

"Going to a counselor doesn't mean you’re crazy or weak. It's a sign of health to recognize and get help for a problem."

"All sessions at the college Counseling Center is confidential and free of charge."

"The counselors at the Counseling Center are trained professionals. They've worked with thousands of students."

"If you don't like the counselor you saw last time, I'm sure you can see a different counselor this time."

Respect the student's decision about counseling. If the student doesn't go now, he or she may reconsider later.

An emergency means that the student's basic safety is jeopardized. Examples are severe eating disorders, severe substance abuse, and suicidal urges. Follow these steps:

If possible, make an appointment with the student in your office or walk the student over to Counseling.

Whether or not you can set up an appointment, call the Center at (646) 312-2155 to explain the problem.

If you have questions about referrals or about a difficult student, don't hesitate to contact the Center.

To find out if a student kept an appointment, ask the student to report to you afterward. (Usually students are honest about this.) Since counseling is confidential, Counseling can't tell you about appointments without express written consent from the student.

Testing
We provide comprehensive testing services to students.  This can include but is not limited to ADHD evaluations, learning disorder evaluations, intelligence testing, academic achievement testing, personality testing, and recommendations for treatment and accommodations. 

Outreach Services
BCCC staff members will provide workshops, trainings, lectures, or facilitate conversations for groups on campuses related to mental health, substance abuse and addiction, counseling center services, and other requested topics.  These outreach programs are both a standard part of many campus orientations (e.g. PAWS; International Students), in addition to being provided upon request (e.g. grief talk with French exchange students after Paris terrorist attacks; drug and alcohol awareness workshop requested by campus fraternities and sororities), and suicide prevention and crisis intervention training for staff in the Student Affairs division. To request a presentation, click here.

WORKSHOPS & PRESENTATIONS

Introduction to Counseling Services
This workshop provides information on counseling services.  A member of our staff will speak to student groups about the benefits of counseling, how counseling works and the services we offer. Counseling brochures are available for distribution.  

Stress Management
We all experience stress and anxiety in our lives. If managed correctly, stress can be a great motivator. On the other hand, if not managed, stress can take a toll on your physical health and mental well-being. Taking steps towards resiliency begins with identifying triggers, recognizing symptoms and developing strategies for dealing with stress. This workshop will give you the tools you will need to take control of difficult situations. You’ll get an overview of different techniques you can use to manage stressors and develop an individualized action plan which you can apply to your everyday life.

LGBT Safe Zone Training
Unfortunately, due to the issue of prejudice, rejection, and shaming within society, some individuals who identify as LGBT may encounter unique stressors such as isolation, depression, anxiety and other emotional stressors. The purpose of this SafeZone training is to increase the awareness, knowledge, and skills for members of our community who wish to address the challenges that exist when one wants to create safety and advocate for LGBTQ peers, coworkers, and for themselves.

Suicide, Trauma and Crisis Awareness
No one is immune to bad experiences. Whether we experience a loss of a friend or family member, suffer from a traumatic experience, or are experiencing the effects of a bad relationship, we’ve all faced hardship at some point in our lives. How we deal with the challenges that we face makes the difference in finding peace. Promoting help seeking behaviors is a great start to the path of healing.

It’s harder for some than others to ask for help. At one time or another, someone might reach out to you for comfort. The purpose of this training is to help members of the community to recognize symptoms of depression, trauma and hopelessness and to provide specific options for intervention and for referral to campus resources. Specific scenarios will be presented and discussed.

Self-Care and Coping Strategies
While it is difficult to control the external forces that effect your life, you can control the way in which you take care of yourself. Being attentive to your emotional needs and nurturing your spirit, mind and body will make it possible for you to manage those uncontrollable things that life throws your way. This workshop examines strategies for healing and self-soothing. We will provide you with basic self-care strategies that will support your emotional and physical well-being.

Drug and Alcohol Awareness for College Students
In this presentation, students will increase their awareness of the prevalence and risk of common drugs and alcohol on campus, common myths will be challenged, and strategies for moderating alcohol consumption and reducing the harmful consequences of drinking will be discussed. This workshop will focus on education, prevention, and accountability. We also provide information on rehab facilities and substance abuse programs that will help you get on the path to recovery. We offer a collaborative experience where students can ask questions, explore issues concerning destructive behavior, and discuss methods of intervention. All questions are treated as confidential and anonymous.