If you choose to approach a student you are concerned about or if a student reaches out to you for help with a personal problem, consider these guidelines to make the situation more comfortable for you and more helpful for the student:
TALK to the student in a face-to-face meeting when you both have the time and are not rushed or preoccupied. If you have initiated the contact, express your concern in behavioral, nonjudgmental terms. Do not make promises that you will keep the student's information confidential, because you may be required to report certain issues (such as threat of harm to someone else).
LISTEN to thoughts and feelings in a sensitive, non-threatening way. Communicate understanding by repeating back key points the student shared.
ENCOURAGE them to realize there are options. Suggest resources and enable them to consult a professional. Do not try to solve the student's problem.
AVOID judging, evaluating, or criticizing, even if the student asks your opinion. Such behavior will push the student away. It is important to respect the student's value system even if you do not agree with it.
MAINTAIN clear and consistent boundaries and expectations. Maintain the professional nature of a relationship with your student and help him/her understand available options.
REFER the student to the appropriate professional. Help them understand that help is available and seeking help is a sign of strength. Let the student know what they should expect and what options are available.
TIME of day is important. Know what help is available when. The Counseling Center is open for appointments or crisis intervention Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For emergencies, help is available after hours by calling EKU PD at 622-1111.
FOLLOW UP with the student after your initial meeting. Find out if they were able to obtain appropriate help, and show your commitment to assisting them.
CONSULT the Counseling Center if you are ever in doubt about advising or intervention. For emergencies, help is available after hours by calling EKU PD at 622-1111.