The University of Kentucky Counseling Center: Consultation and Psychological Services' (UKCC) professional staff is available to faculty, staff, parents, families and students for a consultation regarding the psychological welfare of a particular student, please visit our Faculty/Staff Referral for more information. We usually do consultations by phone but can also meet in-person if this is requested. We can provide information to you regarding how to make an effective referral, how to intervene or bring up your concerns about a student, and help you figure out whether your concern seems warranted.
Situations in which a consultation can be helpful include:
- When you are alarmed by a student's behavior or words (for example, if a student is feeling very sad or anxious or threatens to hurt themselves or someone else);
- When you hear that a student has not been attending class due to depression or personal problems;
- When you are wondering how to intervene with a student who is making risky choices with alcohol or other substances;
- When you are worried that someone may have an eating disorder;
- When a student seems to be having a difficult time getting over a relationship breakup;
- When you have read something in an assignment that raises your concern about a student.
The consultation may be about how you can personally respond or intervene with the student and/or how to make a successful referral to counseling.
The staff can offer advice and discuss your concerns about a student prior to students coming to UKCC for services. Once a student comes to UKCC and becomes a client of our center, we can receive information from you about that student. However, we cannot reveal any information to you about the student, including whether or not the student has continued to come to UKCC. The client may waive the right to confidentiality, giving us permission to share information with you, by signing a Release of Information statement (Form is a PDF document.) The release form must be completed, signed, and dated. It may be hand-delivered, faxed to (859) 257-3319, or mailed to the Counseling Center at 201 Frazee Hall Lexington, KY 40506-0031. If this form is faxed or mailed, we may require independent verification from the client that this release is authentic and should be acted upon. Please note if the release should come to the attention of a specific counselor.
Tips for being supportive with a troubled student (In a consultation we can talk with you about how to do the following):
- The major way to support a troubled student is to listen and try to be nonjudgmental.
- Just being present even when there is silence is also helpful.
- You want to convey that you care and that you are willing to listen.
- You want to be encouraging and hopeful but not minimizing.
- Share similar experiences or feelings but do not then take the spotlight.
- Avoid promising total secrecy in case you need to reveal something to keep the student safe but be reassuring that you will respect the student's privacy.
- Be clear that there are limits to your support and that professional help is available.
- Normalize that it is a positive sign to seek help when you need it.
- Ask if the student is thinking about harming themselves if you are concerned that they are thinking this.
- Follow up and find out how the student is doing.