If you are concerned about a student who is exhibiting characteristics of emotional distress, remain calm and formulate a plan.  Listen to the student and approach with logic (e.g., “It seems as though you need someone who is more experienced than I am to help you out”). You may call CAPS to consult with the on-call staff member who can help you:

  • Assess the situation, its seriousness, and the potential for referral;
  • Determine resources, both on and off campus, so you can suggest the appropriate help available to the student;
  • Discuss the best ways to make the referral, if appropriate;
  • Clarify your own feelings about the student and consider the ways you can be most effective.

When to Make A Referral

 There are situations when making a referral is the best option for both you and the student.  For example:

  • You know that you can’t handle the request or the behavior.  There are limits to the kinds of help a faculty or staff member can provide.
  • You believe that personality differences will interfere with your ability to help.
  • You know the student personally and believe that you could not be objective.
  • You feel overwhelmed, pressed for time, or stressed.
  • The student acknowledges a problem but is reluctant to discuss it with you.
  • After working with the student for some time, you realize that you don’t know how to proceed.
  • The student’s problems are better handled through services such as CAPS, Financial Aid, the Registrar’s Office, Affirmative Action, or Legal Advising.

How to Make a Referral

Some people accept a referral for professional help more easily than others do.  Here are some tips for making a successful referral.

  • Let the student know that it is not necessary to know exactly what is wrong in order to seek assistance.
  • Assure the student that seeking help does not necessarily mean that their problems are unusual or extremely serious.
  • Be frank with students about your own limits of time, energy, training, objectivity, and willingness to help.
  • If appropriate, suggest that the student consider talking with family members, friends, clergy, community agencies, and campus offices. 

CAPS provides emergency consultations to students with urgent mental health concerns. Please call 541-737-2131 if you have an immediate need to meet with a counselor. After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, please contact the Crisis Line at 1-888-232-7192, or call 911 for emergency services at your local hospital.

Other resources may also be helpful referrals and can also consult with you if you are concerned about a student:

Student Health Services  541-737-9355

Career Services  541-737-4085

Dean of Student Life  541-737-2382

Academic Success Center  541-737-2272

Crisis Line 24/7 1-888-232-7192


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