Information for Faculty and Staff

Referrals and Consultations

Counseling Services' two professional staff are available for consultation regarding concerns about distressed students, faculty or staff. If you have concerns about a student or a member of the UNO faculty or staff, or questions about the services offered through Counseling Services, please contact us for a consultation at 504-280-6683 and inform the receptionist that you'd like to consult with a member of the professional staff. If you're calling about a situation you believe is a mental health emergency, please advise the receptionist of the urgent nature of your call.

Information about Students of Concern

Additional information about interacting with students
of concern
.


A Word about Confidentiality

All counseling services are confidential to the limits provided by state and federal law. As such, Counseling Services staff can neither confirm nor deny that an individual is now or has ever been a client of Counseling Services and no information about a client can be released to anyone within or outside of the University without a client's written consent.

Please see below for additional information about:

Signs and Symptoms of a Student in Distress

  • Excessive procrastination and very poorly prepared work, especially if inconsistent with previous work
  • Infrequent class attendance with little or no work completed
  • Dependency, e.g., the student who hangs around you or makes excessive appointments to see you 
  • Listlessness, lack of energy, or frequently falling asleep in class
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene
  • Repeated requests for special consideration, e.g., deadline extensions
  • Impaired speech or garbled, disjointed thoughts
  • Homicidal threats
  • Behavior which regularly interferes with the decorum or effective management of your class
  • Overtly suicidal thoughts, e.g., referring to suicide as a current option, verbally or in writing
  • High levels of irritability, including unruly, aggressive, violent or abrasive behavior
  • Inability to make decisions despite your repeated attempts to clarify and to encourage
  • Dramatic weight loss or weight gain
  • Bizarre or strange behavior which is obviously inappropriate to the situation, e.g., talking to "invisible" people
  • Normal emotions that are displayed to an extreme degree or to a prolonged period of time, e.g., fearfulness, tearfulness, nervousness

What Constitutes a Mental Health Emergency

Counseling Services sees students by appointment and same-day appointments are not always available. Same-day appointments are available for student experiencing mental health emergencies defined as follows: 

  • an individual who is suicidal and has a specific plan and the intent to kill him/herself;
  • an individual who has recently taken steps to end his/her life;
  • an individual who has a plan and the intent to harm someone else.
Information about additional emergency and after-hours mental health resources

Guidelines for Interaction

  • Listen carefully.
  • Show concern and interest.
  • Repeat back the essence of what the student has told you.
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
  • Consider Counseling Services as a resource and discuss a referral with the student.
  • Involve yourself only as far as you want to go. Extending yourself can be a gratifying experience when kept within realistic limits.

How to Make a Referral for Counseling Services

  • If you want to make a referral, suggest that the student call or come in to make an appointment.  Give the Counseling Services phone number of 504-280-6683 and location in room 226 University Center at that time.
  • If you believe that student is unable to make his/her own appointment, call Counseling Services while the student is in your office in order to assure that an appointment is made. Write down the appointment information (time, date, location) for the student.
  • If the situation is an emergency, follow #2 above, but state that the student needs an appointment immediately.

If you are concerned about a student but are uncertain about the appropriateness of a referral, feel free to call Counseling Services at 504-280-6683 for a consultation.

Why Some Students Are Referred Out for Treatment

The primary goal of Counseling Services' two professional staff is to assist students with securing the most appropriate services to address their concerns. When a student presents at Counseling Services with mental health concerns, counselors assess the student's current concerns and conduct a full psychosocial assessment to determine appropriate treatment recommendations. In the course of this assessment, students may reveal information pertinent to treatment which they have not previously revealed to anyone else. Counseling Services staff are trained to distinguish between concerns which can be addressed in short-term treatment (such as is provided at Counseling Services) and those which warrant longer-term or specialized care. When working with students with mental health concerns, the primary goal of Counseling Services is to help students access the services which will best meet their needs. Sometimes, this requires referring students for longer-term or specialized treatment (not unlike a primary care physician will refer a patient to a specialist, if warranted). If a student informs you that he/she visited Counseling Services and was referred out, please support the student in pursuing the referrals provided.