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Student Psychological Counseling Services

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Making a Referral to Counseling Services

When is This Important?

  • You realize that the student is in crisis or has significant problems that you feel requires professional help, and you feel ill-equipped to handle them yourself
  • You recognize that the student has persistent problems which do not appear to get better with your help, or are getting worse
  • You see that the student is unwilling to take responsibility for his or her behavior or seems unable to recognize the impact their negative behavior has on him or herself and others

Steps to Make a Referral

  1. Attempt to develop a trusting relationship with the student and get to know them as appropriate.
  2. Address the concerns you have in a caring, but straightforward manner. Point out the student's behaviors that concern you. It's often helpful to note the magnitude and duration of these behaviors. "I'm concerned about you because you've been very withdrawn and uncommunicative for the past three weeks."
  3. Recommend that the student get counseling and give your reason for making the referral. "You and I have talked several times over the past few weeks and it seems that things aren't getting any better for you. I think it would be helpful for you to talk with a professional counselor. I want you to know that I'm concerned about you and want to remain in contact with you, however, I feel that it would be to your benefit to explore professional counseling."
  4. Don't force the idea of counseling, as it may jeopardize the relationship you have with the student and make him or her feel you are rejecting or stigmatizing them.  Keep in mind also that your student’s past experiences, culture and background can all play a factor in their perception of seeking psychological counseling. Your student may need to hear it is OK to seek services when feeling distressed, but if your student is not ready, you can encourage them to seek help sooner than later before it gets worse. 
  5. After referral, stay in touch with the student in a non-intrusive way. Check in to see how things are going.

In many situations, all you may need to do is tell the student to come by the Student Psychological Counseling Services located at 410 N. Glassell to fill out intake information to make an appointment. If you feel the student needs more support in contacting us, you may wish to call us directly and tell us that you are referring the student and why, or you may offer to walk over with your student to SPCS. Please remember, once a student is seen at SPCS, any information about the student, even if he or she is attending counseling, cannot be shared with anyone without the student's written permission.

Also remember you can share your concerns by filing a Student Outreach and Support (SOS) referral, or by calling the Dean of students office at (714) 997-6721 if you have concerns for your student that are not an immediate threat to your student’s safety or someone else’s. If you are unsure, you can contact SPCS to request a consult. As a rule of thumb, don’t underestimate your “gut feeling” in your decision to assist your student in getting some help.


A psychological emergency exists when, if someone doesn’t get immediate help, serious psychological or physical consequences result.      

Call 911 or Public Safety at (714) 997-6763.

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Contact Us

Phone: (714) 997-6778
Fax: (714) 744-7940

410 N. Glassell St.
(House between Public Safety & Student Health)

8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
(Closed 12 p.m.-1 p.m.)

SPCS After Hours
Consultation and Crisis Services
(714) 997-6778

Concerned about a student?

Please share your concerns to esnure our students are supported, healthy and safe.  

Student Support and Outreach