Parents, as well as faculty and staff are welcome and encouraged to consult with SCC staff if they believe a student is experiencing distress and would like information or guidance about how best to help. To consult with one of our psychologists, please call our office at 812-237-3939 and ask to speak to an available counselor.
For information about what to do in the case of an emergency, please see our Crisis Intervention page.
The SCC provides a brochure titled "Students in Distress: A Referral Guide", which discusses signals and "red flags," highlights intervention guidelines in assisting students, and provides a list of referral sources on campus. Please also refer to the following information on this page regarding warning signs, how to refer students for services, and ideas about how to talk to students about your concerns.
The primary role of the Student Counseling Center (SCC) is to provide mental health counseling to enrolled students. However we also provide consultation services to the campus community as well as to parents. As a faculty member or parent, you have the most contact with students and are likely to be the one who notices changes in their mood or behavior. Identifying significant mental health concerns early is important for providing the best treatment.
The following are a few common warning signs that a student may need assistance:
A sustained change in appearance, such as poor hygiene over days or weeks, or major weight gain or loss.
A drop in academic performance from earlier in the semester, or from the previous semester.
Irritability, agitation, or outbursts of anger.
Withdrawal from usual social interactions, relationships with friends or family, enjoyed activities, or participation in class.
Recent loss, including death of a loved one, relationship breakup, or parental divorce.
Experience of trauma or crisis such as academic failure, violence, or rape or sexual assault.
Frequent use of alcohol or any use of illicit drugs.
Expressions of hopelessness or sadness.
Avoidance statements such as “I want to disappear,” or “It would be easier if I weren’t here/were dead,” or direct statements of suicidal ideation such as “I’ve had thoughts about hurting myself.”
If you notice these, or other concerning signs in a student, and would like to help, please talk with the student about your concerns, and encourage them to come to the SCC for a free and confidential evaluation. Information about referring students for our services is below. If you are unsure what to do, how to talk to a student, or whether a student’s behavior is an indication of problems, the SCC staff are available to consult with you as described above.
If you have become concerned about a student, whether that student is a person in a class you teach, or your own son or daughter, you may wish to talk to the student about your concerns. The following are some suggestions to help the conversation go more smoothly.
Find a private setting, away from the class or other family members to discuss your concerns.
Be open and direct about your concerns.
Give the student time to speak, and listen without criticizing.
Encourage the student to use counseling services, such as the SCC, as a resource. Discuss referring the student to the SCC for an initial appointment.
Provide reassurance that encountering problems as a college student is normal, and that seeking help does not mean one is “crazy”.
Remember that students have the right to accept or refuse help, and may need some time to think about it.
If you are unsure what to do or say, or are concerned a student needs more help, use the SCC’s consultation services by calling us at 237-3939 and asking to speak with an available counselor.
If you find yourself in a crisis situation, try to stay calm and check that the student is safe from harm from him or herself or from others. If you need help ensuring that safety, call the Public Safety office at (812) 237-5555.
When you are concerned about a student, encourage them to use the services of the SCC. There are several ways to make a referral.
Encourage, or ask the student to schedule an initial appointment with the SCC by calling 237-3939, or by coming to the SCC in person. Appointments are usually available within a couple of days. Appointments for students in crisis are often available the same day.
Often students appreciate a parent or faculty member helping them to make an appointment. With the student present (e.g., in your office), call the SCC to schedule an appointment; we will need to speak with the student directly in this case. Alternately, you may walk a student over to the SCC.
In an emergency situation, please call the SCC at (812) 237-3939 and ask to speak to the available counselor about a crisis situation. For information about responding to emergency situations when the SCC is closed, please see our Crisis Intervention (Indiana State University : Student Counseling Center : Crisis Intervention) page.
As always, if you are concerned about a student, but are unsure how to proceed, please call the SCC to consult with one of our counselors.
For information specific to suicide click here.