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CUP Counseling Center Identifying At Risk Students

CUP Counseling Center Identifying At Risk Students

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CUP Counseling Center Identifying At Risk Students

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  1. CUP Counseling CenterIdentifying At Risk Students An Informative Guide for Concerned Community Members **Special thanks to Slippery Rock University Counseling Center for their input and outline

  2. At one time or another, everyone feels depressed or upset. However, there are three levels of student distress which, when present over a period of time, suggest that the problems are more than the “normal” reactions to life stressors.

  3. Level 1 Although not disruptive to others in your class or elsewhere, these at risk behaviors in students may indicate that something is wrong and that help may be needed: • Serious grade problem • Unaccountable change from good to poor performance • Change from frequent attendance to excessive absences • Change in pattern of interaction • Marked change in mood, motor activity, or speech • Marked change in physical appearance.

  4. Level 2 These at risk behaviors in students may indicate significant emotional distress or a reluctance or an inability to acknowledge a need for personal help: • Repeated request for special consideration • New or regularly occurring behavior which pushes the limits and may interfere with class management or be disruptive to others • Unusual or exaggerated emotional response

  5. Level 3 These at risk behaviors may show in many cases that the student is in crisis and needs emergency care: • Highly disruptive behavior (hostility, aggression, etc.) • Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech, disjointed thoughts) • Loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing things that are not there, beliefs or actions at odds with reality) • Overt suicidal thoughts (suicide is a current option) • Homicidal threats

  6. What You Can Do To Help Responses to Level 1/Level 2 behavior • Calmly talk to the student in private when you both have time. • Express your concern in non-judgmental terms. • Listen to the student and repeat the gist of what the student is saying • Clarify the costs and the benefits of each option for handling the problem from the student’s point of view. • Respect the student’s value system. • Ask if the student is considering suicide. • Make appropriate referrals if necessary. • Make sure the student understands what action is necessary. Responses to Level 3 behavior • Stay calm. • Call emergency referrals – discussed later in the presentation

  7. Talking to the Student About Your Concerns (Levels 1 and 2) • Privacy – Talk in private when you and the student have time and are not preoccupied • Honesty – Be frank about your concerns, sharing what you observe without judging • Limits – Be clear about the limits of you ability to help. It is not your role or responsibility to counsel students, but you can help them get the support they need.

  8. Talking to the Student About Your Concerns Levels 1 and 2 • “Sounds like you are really struggling with ______. Many people find it helpful to talk with someone in confidence who is outside of the situation. • “I want to help you get the help you need and deserve.” • “Meeting with a counselor is confidential and will not go on your academic record.” • “These are services your tuition pays for, take advantage of them”.

  9. Talking to the Student About Your Concerns Levels 1 and 2 • Suggest that a student seek help instead of telling or ordering them to. • Inform the student of our counseling services and tell them that students visit the Counselor for a variety of reasons. • Timing – If a student is receptive to seeing a counselor, provide them with our phone number, offer them access to your phone so they can make an appointment, and/or accompany them to the Counseling Center.

  10. DO show that you take the student’s feelings seriously DO let the student know that you want to help DO listen attentively and empathize DO reassure that with help (s)he will recover DO stay close until help is available or risk has passed DON’T try to shock or challenge the student DON’T analyze the student’s motives DON’T become argumentative DON’T react with shock or disdain at the student’s thoughts and feelings DON’T minimize the student’s distress Do’s and Don’tsResponding to Suicidality

  11. When to Make a Referral Even though a student asks you for help with a problem and you are willing to help, there are circumstances when you should suggest other resources: • You are not comfortable in handling the situation. • Personality differences may interfere with your ability to help. • You know the student personally (friend, neighbor, friend of a friend) and think you may not be objective enough to help. • The student is reluctant to discuss the situation with you. • You see little progress in the student. • You feel overwhelmed or pressed for time.

  12. How to Make a Referral To the Student • Be frank with the student about the limits of your time, ability, expertise, and/or objectivity. • Let the student know that you care and think (s)he should get assistance from another source. • Assure them that many students seek help over the course of their college career. • Try to help the student know what to expect if (s)he follows through on the referral. Consider these questions before making the referral? • What are the appropriate and available resources for the student? • With whom would the student feel most comfortable? • Who will make the initial contact, you or the student?

  13. Consultation is Available If you have concerns about a student, counselors at the Counseling Department are available for consultation. Some of the ways we might help include: • Assessing the seriousness of the situation • Suggesting potential resources • Finding the best way to make a referral • Clarifying your own feelings about the student and the situation

  14. The Counseling Department • Any currently enrolled student at CUP may use the department services. Students are encouraged to make their own appointments if possible. Because many students use our services, there may be a wait, from a few hours to a few days before seeing a counselor. • In urgent situations, however, we will assist any student immediately. Be sure to tell the person scheduling the appointment that the situation is urgent. • For more information about the CUP Counseling Department, please visit our website:

  15. Behavioral Assessment and Response Team • BART is a committee designed to assist in developing a culture of reporting at risk behaviors at Clarion University. • BART can be utilized to refer students of concern that need additional resources based on their level of distressed behavior. • A referral can be emailed to

  16. In an EmergencyLevel 3 Try to stay calm. Find someone to stay with the student while calls are made. ________________________________________________________________ For students expressing a direct threat to themselves or others, or who act in a disruptive, a bizarre, or a highly irrational way, call: • University Police (x 2111) – For assistance and or protection • Counseling Department (x 2255) – For emergency consultation, treatment and referral

  17. After hours Emergency Contacts • Contact University Police (x 2111) • Call 911

  18. Levels 1 and 2 For students who exhibit severe anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts or any other intense emotional disturbance, and for whom no immediate harm seems likely: • Call the Counseling Department (x 2255) – For consultation, evaluation, and/or referral AND/OR • Email concern to BART

  19. Tips for Faculty Personal Contract • Model and expect students to utilize good stress management skills (adequate sleep, diet, etc.) • Check in with your students regularly and create a climate where it is safe for students to come to you if they are getting overwhelmed • Share some of your own struggles as a student and professional: failure-> success stories • Understand that some students lack basic life skills and are playing catch-up in many areas

  20. More Tips for Faculty In the Classroom • Create opportunities for connections in your classroom and work to engage the withdrawn or socially isolated student. • Phrase feedback positively whenever possible. • During critiques, emphasize the purpose, process, and benefit of them. Seek to normalize the experience by using examples, such as an invited upperclassman’s work. • Contact the Counseling Department to speak with your class regarding self-care, stress management, test anxiety, depression or other pertinent topics.

  21. More Tips for Faculty Outside the Classroom • Refer students to programs that will help them improve study skills and time management. • Consider adding a class service opportunity as a requirement or for extra credit to further build community/connections. • Encourage student involvement in events and campus clubs. • Encourage students with disabilities to self-identify and utilize accommodations. • Engage with students at activities and on campus – they will feel valued! • Consult with the counselors as needed for feedback. We are here to support the student and you!

  22. Emergency Telephone Numbers Crisis Intervention 226-7223 Clarion Psychiatric Center 226-9545 Mental Health Crisis Line 1-800-253-4906 PASSAGES (Rape Crisis) 226-7273 or 911 (clarion County) S.A.F.E. (Stop Abuse for Everyone) after hours: 226-7020 during business hours: 226-7233 Venango County Mental Health: Emergency Protective Services: 814-677-1336 After Hours: 814-676-4545 Clarion Counseling Center 226-6252 Clarion County Mental Health 226-5840 Drug & Alcohol Hotline (Gateway) 1-800-472-4488 Keeling Health Center (CUP) 393-2121