• Be clear with the student about the limits of your time, ability, expertise, and/or objectivity.
  • Let the student know that you think they should get assistance from another source.
  • Assure them that many students seek help over the course of their college career.
  • Assist the student in choosing the best resource.
  • Try to help the student know what to expect if they follow through on the referral.


  • Speak with the student privately
  • Remain calm
  • Describe the behaviors that concern you
  • Show concern and interest In some situations, encourage the student to call for an appointment from your office
  • Seek consultation


  • Tolerate rudeness
  • Assume the role of therapist/counselor
  • Remain in a situation that feels unsafe
  • Critique the student
  • Ignore a feeling that something is not right
  • Assume someone else has intervened with the student

Talking With the Student About Your Concern 

  • "I'm concerned about your stress level. Do you know about CAPS ā€” Counseling & Psychological Services? They are a great resource and have a lot of different ways to assist students. They even have a 24/7 number Iā€™m going to give you."
  • "Based on what you're sharing, I'm very concerned. I'd like you to see a campus psychologist/social worker. Let's walk over to CAPS/SHS now to meet with someone."
  • "I'm concerned for you, but I'm not the best person to help you. The Student Mental Health Coordinators are experts in connecting students to resources and I will ask them to contact you."
  • "If you can't discuss this without yelling then I'll have to ask you to leave my office."
  • "I'm very concerned about you. I'm going to call someone who can come out and talk with you right now ā€¦ " (call 911)