Student Counseling Center

How Do I Talk with a Distressed Student

Listen: Listening is an important part of support
Empathize: Understanding from another's perspective is often helpful
Normalize: Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out are common aspects of college life
Set limits on your role: Set comfortable limits for yourself when the support you provide doesn't feel like enough. That is the time to refer.
De-stigmatize SCC: Help take the anxiety out of seeking help. SCC is here for the students because college is a time for growth and development, which can sometimes be pretty difficult.

What Should I Let Students Know About SCC?
Points to Pass On

  • Information shared by the student with a CAPS therapist is confidential.
  • Visits to SCC are not recorded on academic transcripts.
  • Students use SCC services for many reasons. Students face many academic concerns and social pressures. At times, they may feel anxious, angry, lonely, or depressed. Some students are struggling with being away from home. Getting help is not a sign of weakness.
  • There is no charge for initial consultation appointments. CAPS works in a brief therapy model and the number of sessions a student needs is discussed between the student and the therapist.
  • Group therapy is available at no charge to students

When Should I Refer a Student to SCC?
As an advisor, mentor, professor, resident assistant, or staff person students may seek you out as a source of support.

Personal hints to help you decide when it's time to refer:

  • The student's struggles leave you feeling helpless.
  • Your best efforts are not adequate support for the student.
  • You may feel unable or uncomfortable with providing extensive support.
  • You feel like you have reached your limit or have exhausted your ideas on how to help.
  • You have doubts as to what may help the student.
  • You feel increasingly anxious and pre-occupied about the student's struggle.
  • You feel angry or intimidated by the student's comments or behavior.
  • You are spending large amounts of time on the student's issues.
  • The student's issues are too close to home for you, making it hard to get and keep perspective.
Some additional tips on referring:
  • Share with the student your interest in them and in their well-being.
  • The choice to seek our help is usually up to the student.
  • Discuss with the student what they might expect when they meet with a therapist at SCC.
  • Give the student the option to call SCC from your office.
  • Ask the student if he or she would like you to make the call to SCC while they are with you or if you can accompany them to the SCC office; if you are willing.
  • If you can, provide the student a name of someone specific at SCC to talk with.
  • Referring to SCC can help the student begin to help him or herself.

The Student Counseling Center staff is more than happy to try to accommodate specific requests for presentation. Please schedule at the Student Health Promotion website.

Presentation: Identifying and Assisting Students in Distress
This presentation covers recognizing a student in distress, how to assist the student, and making a referral to the Student Counseling Center.

Time and Stress Management

Test Anxiety

Mental Health Trends

Collegiate Mental Health

Mental Health 101

Eating Disorders and the Athlete

Sports Performance and Substance Abuse

Intro to Sports Psychology

What is Beauty

The Mind and Body Connection

Conflict Management

The Student Counseling Center staff is more than happy to try to accommodate specific requests for presentation. Please schedule at the Student Health Promotion website.