The Counseling Center is concerned with promoting the psychological well-being of students. All students experience occasional difficulties coping with the challenges of life and many come on their own initiative to the Counseling Center for assistance in managing stress, transitions, and other issues. In your unique position as a faculty or staff member, you may be the first to recognize when personal difficulties are affecting a student's academic or social relations.
The MSU Counseling Center specializes in the treatment of all psychological, developmental, and mental health issues that affect individuals in a college setting. A great amount of our work involves counseling with students who are distressed in one way or another. We see students for a wide variety of concerns:
Alcohol and Drug Use
Worries About Grades
Anger and Violence
Grief and Loss
We are happy to help students with these issues or any other issue a student may bring to the Counseling Center. If we cannot help a student with a specific problem, we will be glad to give referrals to appropriate departments or community agencies.
When to Refer
The decision to refer a student to the Counseling Center is first based upon your own observations with an individual who shows signs and symptoms of emotional, academic, or career choice concerns. If you notice yourself doing more “personal counseling” than giving advice or guidance to students or if you notice a student experiencing troubled or troubling behaviors, a referral to the Counseling Center is appropriate.
Each individual will experience emotional problems in a different way, but some common indicators that a student is in distress include:
How to Refer
Tell the individual, in private and in a straightforward manner, of your concern. Be specific regarding the behavior patterns you have observed. Suggest that he/she consider talking with a counselor. If the student agrees, depending on your sense of urgency you may:
If you are unsure about whether to refer, call us. Our professional counselors are always willing to discuss your concerns and possible courses of action.
If the student reacts as though you are implying he/she is “sick” or “disturbed,” you might reassure him other that many students who are having situational or temporary difficulties, academic problems, or career-related difficulties, use the Counseling Center. You might also remind the individual that Center services are free of charge and completely confidential.
Because communication between a counselor and a client is confidential, we cannot discuss a client’s situation, or reveal that counseling is being received, without the client's written consent. If you wish follow-up information on someone you have referred, please ask that individual to provide us with permission to speak with you. If you do not hear from us, it is likely that permission has been denied.
Crisis or Emergency Situations
Occasionally a student may appear to be extremely upset or distraught. Crisis or emergency situations may involve an individual threatening or attempting suicide, posing a threat to self or others or appearing unable to care for him/her. If a student is acting in a troubling manner or seems to be losing control, there are several points to keep in mind:
Other Services Available