Counseling Services Resources for Faculty
Often faculty and staff will encounter student behavior that is concerning or distressing. One vital aspect of determining the best course of action is to determine whether the behavior is best addressed through disciplinary action or through supportive action. 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 remediation is to address the behavior through the due process of disciplinary action. Complete an incident report or make contact with the Vice President for Preparedness, Compliance, and Students. These matters are not addressed by Counseling Services. If, through the disciplinary proceedings, a student expresses an interest in meeting with a counselor, then a referral to Counseling Services may be made.
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.
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 mark 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
- 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 .
Promoting emotional health and preventing suicide. Resources for students, parents, and college professionals.
Resources and immediate crisis intervention for Veterans, Active Duty/Reserve and Guard, and family members.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.