What can you do to help?
Faculty and Staff have direct contact with students on a daily basis. You will likely encounter students who are struggling or who express concerns which necessitate a referral to counseling services.
Some signs and symptoms in students to look out for who may need to be referred include, but are not limited to the following:
- Confused thinking
- Prolonged depression (sadness, irritability, hopelessness)
- Anger, unruly aggressive, acting out behaviors
- Feelings of extreme highs and lows
- Excessive fears, increased worries, anxieties
- Social withdrawal
- Significant changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
- Unusual thinking or behaviors that concern other people (delusions)
- Growing inability to cope with problems and activities
- Suicidal thoughts, self-harm behaviors (burning, cutting), substance use, change in hygiene
- Feeling stressed
- Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- Numerous unexplained ailments (aches, headaches, digestive problems, pain)
- Obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviors
- Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life (tardiness, absenteeism, homesickness)
What can you as Faculty and Staff do to help students who may be in distress?
- Schedule an appointment to meet with the student or pull them aside to talk with them privately.
- Ask the student how they have been doing and if there are any issues that they are having.
- Express your concerns to the student and respect their decision if they do not want to share information with you.
- Listen actively and show empathy.
- Discuss information about the Counseling Center as a confidential resource and how to make an appointment.
Consultation and Referral
As a staff or faculty member, you play an important role in a student’s growth and development. Because of this, you may encounter situations where students are honest about their struggles and might have questions about how best to help them. The Counseling Center offers consultation to faculty and staff, which means that a counselor can offer general suggestions on how to approach student situations and point you to resources that they may benefit from. The best way to consult with a counselor is to email [email protected] or to call (808)735-4845. If we are unable to answer your call right away, we will respond within one business day. If you encounter a crisis situation after hours and need immediate assistance, please see our crisis resources page.
If you believe that a student would benefit from counseling, the best way to direct them to our services is to encourage them to call or email our office. Because of limited staff, calling and emailing ahead of time ensures that we are available when a student comes to the Counseling Center. Although we do our best to accommodate same-day appointments if they are urgent needs, we do prioritize students who have scheduled appointments.
If a student is 18 years or older, written permission or a release of information needs to be completed in order for the Counseling Center to release any information about the student to particular individuals. By law, the Counseling Center cannot disclose any information about the student unless in limited circumstances, such as if there are safety issues that present a risk of harm to self or others. This means that a counselor will not disclose information shared in a session—including whether or not a client chooses to attend a session—with anyone outside of the Counseling Center, unless a client provides written permission.
As a concerned faculty or staff member, it may seem frustrating to not be given information on a student’s well being and progress. We encourage you to have open conversations with the student you are concerned about and follow up with them if you are concerned. Confidentiality is a value that counselors are bound to adhere to; students can disclose their own information at their discretion. If it is essential that you are provided with updates on a student, we encourage you to ask them whether or not they are willing to sign a release of information form, which will give the Counseling Center permission to disclose certain information to you. Because of the sensitive nature of counseling, we ask that students’ privacy be respected if they choose not to release information.
Faculty and Staff are welcomed to provide any information about a student or consult with the Counseling Center whether a student should be referred at any time via email or via phone; however, the Counseling Center cannot share any information with you without release from a student legally.