The Bridgewater State University Counseling Centers primary goal is to promote the personal growth and academic success of all BSU students. The Counseling Center is available to all currently enrolled students. The Center offers short-term psychotherapy, crisis intervention, group therapy, referrals and resources to clients. The center also offers workshops, trainings, and consultations to the campus community.
As a faculty member, staff member, or advisor, you
are in a unique position to recognize and assist
students who could benefit from a referral to the
Counseling Center. Your frequent contact with
students may make you among the first to notice
concerning changes in their behaviors or classroom
performance. The information provided here will
assist you in identifying students in need of
additional support, and offer suggestions for
helping students connect with the Counseling Center.
A student presents a problem or requests information which is outside your range of knowledge.
You feel that personality differences that cannot be resolved between you and the student will interfere with your ability to help the student.
A student is reluctant to discuss a problem with you for some reason.
You do not believe your conversations with the student have been effective.
Any time you think a students needs exceed what you are willing or able to provide.
The BSU Counseling Center offers support to students presenting with a wide variety of problems ranging from developmental and transition issues (such as coping with college life) to more severe mental health concerns (such as major depression). Some of the most common issues for which our students seek counseling are:
Adjustment/transition to college
You may become aware of a students struggles with family obligations, romantic relationships, academic failures, or major mental illness. Often students choose to write about their lives for class assignments, or personal information will be shared during class discussion. A student may contact you by email and share concerning thoughts and feelings. Or, indirectly through classroom observations, you may notice an increased withdrawal from classroom participation, poor hygiene, excessive absences, poor concentration, or unusual interactions with peers. In many cases, it will be sufficient to talk with a student and share your concerns in an honest, specific, and straightforward manner. Referral to the Counseling Center would be appropriate for students that present with any of the issues listed in this brochure, although the list is not exhaustive.
Help the student understand that a referral to the
BSU Counseling Center does not contradict your
expression of concern or willingness to provide
support, but reflects your desire to assist the
student in contacting appropriate University
resources. In this regard, should the students
problem seem acute, you may offer to make an
appointment, with the students permission, while
the student is present. Whether the appointment is
made by you or the student, a call to the BSU
Counseling Center should inform the receptionist of
the level and nature of the problem. This
information will be of use in matching the students
need to an appropriate therapist and appointment
time. Also let the student know that you would be
interested in learning whether the referral was
helpful. Such a request will underscore your concern
and wish to remain in contact. Without the students
written consent, the law prohibits us from
acknowledging whether we have met with a student.
Therefore, if you wish to follow-up with the
Counseling Center after your referral, please make
sure to talk with the student about obtaining a
signed release of information.
Once you have identified a student of concern there are many approaches you can take. Here are some ways to discuss your concerns with a student:
Arrange to speak with a student in private (keep in mind safety issues).
Express concern. Be specific about your observations and reasons for concern.
Respect the student's values and beliefs. Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
Listen carefully; paraphrasing back to the student.
Acknowledge that you are willing to help explore resources.
Express interest in referring the student to the Counseling Center, if appropriate.
Inform the student that Counseling Center services are confidential and available at no extra charge.
Occasionally a student may present with behaviors or statements that need immediate attention. In these emergency situations, you should get help immediately:
Expression of suicidal thoughts
Expression of homicidal thoughts
Severe loss of emotional control
Gross impairment of thinking ability
Loss of connection with reality
You can contact the Counseling Center during regular business hours at 508.531.1331, MondayFriday 8:304:30, or contact University Police by calling 911 from a campus phone or 508.531.1212. It is always prudent to consult your Department Chair regarding departmental procedures or protocols, as well.
Acknowledge and discuss the students fears and concerns about seeking help from a counselor.
Remind the student that counseling sessions are strictly confidential.
Remind the student that counseling at the Counseling Center is free of charge.
Point out that a situation does not have to reach crisis proportions in order to benefit from professional help.
Offer to accompany the student to the Counseling Center or make a phone call together.
Suggest that the student visit our web page for information about our counseling services and additional resources.
Remember that, except in cases of emergency, the decision whether to accept a referral to counseling rests with the student. If the student refuses the idea of counseling, it's usually best not to push. Suggest that the two of you explore the matter again some time in the future.
BSU Counseling Center-508.531.1331
or 911 in emergency from a campus phone.
Last Modified: November 28, 2011