Information for Faculty
Making a Referral for Counseling and Classroom Management
There are several instances in which you should make a referral to the Brookhaven College Counseling Center.
Students will often come to faculty or staff members seeking help. When talking to the student, you may realize that the problems being communicated are beyond your scope of knowledge. If the student opens up to you, she/he clearly feels that your relationship is a valued one. Your opinion will most likely be heard, so students may welcome the referral to counseling services.
Adjustment Difficulties/Emotional Problems
If a student expresses any of the difficulties or problems listed below, and you believe that the person could benefit from professional help, please make a referral to the Brookhaven College Counseling Center.
Unusual or Disruptive Behavior
Sometimes people do not tell you directly that there is a problem, but their behaviors can be cues that something is wrong. Changes in academic performance; withdrawal from others; changes in participation levels in classes, clubs or organizations, sports and work; crying; outbursts of anger; and poor attendance may warrant a referral to the Counseling Center.
Talking about Suicide
If a student talks or writes about suicide, this should be taken seriously. Suicidal thoughts are in themselves not necessarily dangerous; however, if the student discusses actual plans for suicidal behaviors, the severity of danger increases dramatically. Never assume that talk of suicide is simply an attention-seeking gesture. This could be a fatal mistake.
- 10.3 percent of college students consider suicide.
- 6.7% percent of college students make a plan.
- 1.5 percent of college students attempt suicide.
- It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year, according to the American College Health Association.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students, second only to accidents.
If you become aware of a student who is thinking about suicide, please make an immediate referral to the Counseling Center, Bldg. S, Room S113. Please call 972-860-4830/4339 for a consultation if you are unsure how to handle this situation or if the student is reluctant.
If a student clearly states the intent to commit suicide, call Campus Police by dialing 9-1-1 from a college phone or at 972-860-4290. Dialing 9-1-1 from an outside line will take you to the nationally recognized 9-1-1 service.
Clarify What to Expect
When you have decided to refer a student to the Counseling Center, you may wish to help educate the student about what to expect when seeking counseling services.
Brookhaven College counseling services are free to current registered full- and part-time students.
Counseling Services are Confidential.
Emphasize that counseling information is not part of the college’s record. Confidentiality means that information about the student cannot be released to family, professors, friends, coaches, etc. without the student’s written permission. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality that the counselors explain to students during the very first session.
Referrals are most effective when you escort the person to the Counseling Center or when you call ahead and assist in making an appointment. Referrals are least effective when you merely suggest that a person see a counselor.
The Brookhaven College Counseling Center does not participate in mandated counseling. You may refer a student for counseling; however, you may not mandate that a student meet with a counselor a set number of times before returning to your class. Disciplinary decisions of this nature must go through your department chair, dean or the vice president for enrollment management and student success.