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How to Refer a Student for Counseling

Faculty and staff are often the first to recognize changes in a student's behavior. When you notice a change and sensitively ask a student if they are okay, students feel that you care and that they matter. The understanding and support you provide is extremely powerful and therapeutic. If you find that a student's needs seem more serious than you are comfortable addressing on your own, we encourage  you to reach out to us in the Counseling Center for consultation and/or make the student aware that there are counseling services available to them free of charge. 

What are problem behaviors? 

  • Serious decline in grades, quality of work, class attendance or participation
  • Inability to concentrate in class
  • Failing to turn in work on time or at all
  • Strange or bizarre behavior
  • Prolonged depression (sad mood, crying, weight loss/gain, apathy, fatigue)
  • Socially isolating from classmates
  • Signs of excessive alcohol or drug use
  • Noticeable changes in personal hygiene
  • Extreme dependency on others
  • Persistent irritability or impatience
  • Suicidal expressions

How can you help? 

  • Reassure the student you want to help, and discuss things you’ve observed that cause you concern.
  • Clearly identify specific words, actions, or behaviors you have witnessed from the student to create a platform for mutual understanding.
  • Discuss counseling in a normalizing way to help dispel the myth that counseling is only for “disturbed” individuals.
  • Determine the student’s willingness to get help.
  • Encourage the student to schedule an appointment with the Counseling Center by phone at 614.823.1333, on the website, or in person at 146 W. Home St., or
  • Offer to help the student call or accompany them to the Counseling Center office.   

In Case of an Emergency

If a student you are concerned about is experiencing a mental health emergency where the threat of harm to self or other is imminent and serious:

  • Call 911 and ask for immediate assistance.
    Identify yourself and your location, and briefly describe the behaviors that are causing you to be concerned about the safety of the student or of another person. If you feel safe, stay with your student until EMS personnel arrive. If you do not feel safe, call OPD at 614.823.1222 for immediate assistance.

For Urgent Attention

If a student is experiencing serious but non-life-threatening symptoms or is in a situation where they could benefit from urgent evaluation, help them to: 

  • Call or come to the Counseling Center. Our phone number is 614.823.1333 and we are located at 146 W. Home St. We hold times open daily at 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. for immediate walk-in attention. If a student comes to the Counseling Center with an urgent concern outside of these times, we will schedule them to see a counselor as soon as the next counselor becomes available. 

  • We also ask that you contact us and provide a brief summary of your concerns so that we can insure that we address those particular concerns with the student. The most timely way to reach us is by calling the Counseling Center. You may provide our secretary with information to share with a counseling as soon as one becomes available. You may also print out a referral form and bring it with you and the student for the Counseling Center records.

For Help in Uncertain Circumstances

If you are unsure about the seriousness of your student's symptoms or situation, we encourage you to contact any of the following resources:

  • Counseling Center staff at 614.823.1333
  • Student Affairs personnel at 614.823.1250
  • Student Health Center professionals at 614.823.1345
  • Otterbein Police - available 24 hours/weekdays and weekends - at 614.823.1222 

Appointment Hours:

Fall/Spring Semesters
M-F: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
M-F: 3:00, 3:30 for Urgent Walk-In Appointments

Also See...

Schedule an Appointment
Emergency Information
Additional Resources
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Mental Health Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 747747

/The Counseling Center

The Counseling Center is located at 146 W. Home St.

Appointment Hours
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

p/ 614.823.1333
e/ counseling@otterbein.edu

/Also See...

/National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

p/ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
e/ suicidepreventionlifeline.org

24-Hour Crisis Text Line
Text: 4HOPE to 741741