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:
- The Counseling Center is available to meet with all students experiencing any level of mental health distress.
- Services in the Counseling Center are confidential. Clinicians cannot reveal anything that is said (or even that the student has attended an appointment) without explicit written permission, except when required by law.
- Services in the Counseling Center are part of the cost of attendance at Bentley. Students will not need to pay anything additional or be required to use their insurance.
- Contact information & hours:
- Phone: 781-891-2274
- Hours: 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday (regular academic year)
- 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 valuable 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. If you ever have questions on whether a student should be evaluated by a professional immediately - do not ever hesitate to call the Counseling Center at 781-891-2274 or University Police at 781-891-3131.
Some signs that a student should be referred to the Counseling Center:
- Significant changes in behavior and/or 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 attempts by you or others to help.
- You begin to take on the role of counselor rather than adviser or teacher.
It is not unusual to feel uncomfortable referring a student to counseling. You may be concerned that the student will be offended or embarrassed. However, students usually respond well to a solid and thoughtful suggestion for counseling, especially if you are approaching the student from a place of caring, concern and non-judgement. The manner in which you present the topic can do a great deal to comfort the student. As such, it is important that you prepare adequately for the discussion and approach it positively with the confidence that it is the best option for the student.
Tips for referring a student to counseling:
- If you have time to prepare in advance, speak with a clinician in the Counseling Center to develop a specific strategy for approaching the student.
- Consider an appropriate time and place to approach the student to minimize distractions. The student will be more likely to be open with you if they do not have to rush off or are in the presence of others.
- Begin your conversation with general questions about how they are doing and enjoying their time at Bentley. This may be a good way to begin expressing your concerns.
- Speak directly and calmly and let them know you are coming from a place of care and concern.
- “I wanted to speak with you one-on-one as I’ve been concerned about you and I want to make sure you are ok.”
- Describe specific and objective behaviors you have witnessed that have led you to feel concerned about the student.
- “I have noticed that you have missed quite a few classes this semester.”
- “You have seemed particularly distracted the past week.”
- “You left the class crying the other day. Is everything ok?”
- If based on the conversation it appears that the student could benefit from some support, make a referral to the Counseling Center.
- “Sounds like you are going through a lot right now. I’d like to help you get connected with someone at the Counseling Center who can give you the support you need.”
- Be understanding, yet firm. The student may initially resist the idea, but they will at least give the idea some thought if you are persistent.
- Some students have such concerns about mental health stigma, they are unwilling to consider going to the Counseling Center. In these cases, try referring to the Health Center at 781-891-2222 instead. The practitioners there are highly trained in issues of mental health and are skilled having conversations that will allay student concerns.
- Let the student know that services at the Counseling Center are part of the cost of attendance and that their conversations with a clinician are confidential.
- Show the student our website (www.bentley.edu/counseling). This can make students feel more comfortable about who we are and what we have to offer. They can even request to meet with a particular clinician.
- Consider having the student call the Counseling Center to set up an appointment while you are still meeting them. Sometimes making the appointment is the most difficult part and it can be really helpful to have someone help.
- If the student needs to speak with someone in the Counseling Center right away, offer to walk the student down. Be sure to give us a heads up so we know you are coming.
- 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 there are strategies you can employ to manage the crisis:
- Keep 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.
- Keep the student to a quiet and secure place where they will feel safe and calm.
- If the situation is serious but not a crisis, call Health, Counseling or Wellness to consult. 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.