Concerned About a Student?
If you are worried about a particular student, Counseling Center staff members are available for consultation. Call us at 781.891.2274 and ask to speak with a clinician about a student in distress. If a referral to the Counseling Center is warranted, we can help you identify ways to make a referral for the student. You may also walk the student down to our center during business hours. If the emergency is life-threatening, please contact University Police at 781.891.3131. Our staff will also direct you to fill out a CARE Report on the student in distress.
Fill out a Care Report:
If you are concerned about a student, you should also file a CARE Report which will be sent to the Bentley CARE Team. The Bentley CARE Team is a small group of professionals who provide assistance, guidance, or feedback to students who may be in crises or are engaging in other behaviors that are perceived as harmful (either to the student individually or to others). The Bentley CARE Team accepts referrals and responds to students, families, faculty, and staff when concerns for a student’s health and safety are identified.
See our Emergencies page for more information.
Counseling Center Referral Guide
Things you should know about the Counseling Center:
- Students who come to the counseling center are afforded confidentiality
- We offer a wide range of services
- Contact information & Hours:
- Phone: 781-891-2274
- Hours: 8:30-4:30 M-F
- Location: Callahan Building, Second Floor (above University Police)
For many students, the opportunity to talk to a faculty or staff member who truly cares about their concerns is often enough support to help them through a difficult time. Listening, conveying acceptance, having an open discussion about their concerns, instilling hope, and offering simple advice all can be very helpful. However, sometimes it is apparent – either after repeated attempts to help or even during a first conversation – that a student may need professional assistance.
Some signs that a student may need counseling:
- You begin to take on the role of counselor rather than adviser or teacher.
- Significant and marked changes in behavior and mood.
- Deteriorating academic performance or social interaction.
- Over time, the student becomes isolated, unkempt, irritable, or disconnected.
- Feelings of increased helplessness or hopelessness regarding their concerns.
- Continued distress after repeated attempts by you or others to help.
It is not unusual to feel uncomfortable referring a student to counseling. You may be concerned that the student will be offended or you may have your own reservations about counseling. However, students usually respond well to a solid and thoughtful suggestion for counseling, especially if they sought your advice. The manner in which you present the topic can do a great deal to comfort the student. Therefore, it is important that you prepare adequately for the discussion and approach it positively with the belief that it is the best option for the student.
Tips for referring a student to counseling:
- Speak directly and calmly in a concerned and caring manner.
- State clearly why you are making the referral.
- Describe specific and objective behaviors you have witnessed that have led you to believe counseling would be beneficial.
- Be firm. The student may initially resist the idea, but if you are persistent, he or she often will at least give the idea some thought.
- If you have time to prepare in advance, speak with a clinician in the Counseling Center to develop a strategy for approaching the student. The clinician can recommend a specific counselor, which will increase the likelihood the student will follow through on the referral.
- During your meeting, be prepared to have the student call the counseling center to set up an appointment while still in your presence. It is more likely the student will keep the appointment once it is made.
- General crisis response tips:
- If a student requires immediate attention, is unmanageable (aggressive, hostile, requiring medical attention, or refusing care); or if you feel directly threatened or that others are at risk; call University Police at ext. 3131. Officers are trained to assess emergencies and it is always advisable to get a second opinion, even if you have doubts.
- Try to have as much information available as possible when contacting University Police, the Counseling Center, or any other campus resource. This includes your name, the student’s name, student ID, exact location, details about the incident, and a rough timeline of events.
- While waiting for a response from the University Police or the Counseling Center, there are strategies you can employ to manage the crisis:
- Move the student to a quiet and secure place where they will feel safe and calm.
- Get help. The first rule of any crisis is not to manage it alone. Find a colleague who can help both you and the student.
- Listen. Allowing a student to talk about why he or she is upset is a crucial and valuable tool. Do not try to solve their problem.
- If the situation is serious but not a crisis, direct the student to the Counseling Center. If you are unsure if the student will go alone, it is best to walk with the student to our center.
Workshops and Presentations
Counseling Center staff can facilitate workshops for students, faculty, or staff on a variety of topics related to student mental health, wellness, and development. There are also other opportunities for Wellness Programming on campus. Common topics include:
- Stress management
- Healthy relationships
- Sexual violence
- Anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or other mental health concerns
- Training in listening and referral skills for student employees or those who work with students
Before you cancel class if you have to be away, consider having a Counseling Center staff member provide a lecture on a topic related to your course. Previous lectures have focused on gender issues and/or mental health as they relate to your class topic. We will work with you to identify connections between course content and student mental health, providing a new perspective for students.