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Support for Every Student!

The University of Mississippi

Consider making a referral when:

  • The issue is outside your range of knowledge or expertise
  • Helping the student could compromise or change the status of your relationship with the student (perhaps it is too personal)
  • The student feels uncomfortable talking with you about the issue
  • You feel the differences between you and the student are such that you cannot help him or her
  • You feel overwhelmed, overly responsible for and worried about the personal safety of the student
  • The student’s behavior is a significant and ongoing disturbance to others
  • You are extremely busy or are experiencing stress in your own life and are unable or unwilling to handle the student’s needs
  • You have talked to the student and helped as much as you can, but further assistance is needed
  • You think that your personal feelings about the student would interfere with your ability to be helpful
  • The student admits there is a problem but does not want to talk to you about it
  • The student asks for information or assistance, which you are unable to provide

How to approach the student

  • Ask to see the student in private
  • Speak to the student in a straightforward fashion that shows concern for his or her welfare and focuses on observable behaviors
  • Express your concern in a nonjudgmental manner (State what you observed)
  • Ask if the student is talking with anyone (friends or family) about the problem, pointing out that isolation is rarely useful when dealing with problems; listen carefully
  • Let the student know that counseling is accessible, free and confidential
  • Suggest that the student go to the Counseling Center, or call for an appointment while he or she is in your office
  • Encourage the student that if counseling didn’t help in the past to try it again

Don’t attempt to coerce or intimidate the student into counseling.