SAINT ♦ XAVIER ♦ UNIVERSITY Distressed and Distressing Students Guidelines for Faculty & Staff Counseling and Career Services August 2008 1 August, 2008 Dear Colleague, "Do you have a minute?" Our students regularly approach faculty and staff members at Saint Xavier University with a request for their time to ask a few questions related to class, and sometimes end up discussing a personal problem instead. How will you know when they need more help than you can give them? We are pleased to provide you with an updated edition of "Distressed and Distressing Students: A guide to assist faculty and staff in making referrals to Personal Counseling." Many students seek your support and guidance, and this booklet is designed to help you determine what type of support each student needs. As the size of our student body increases, more and more students may seek your attention. We count on you to inform them of the support services available to help them succeed at Saint Xavier University. We hope you find this booklet useful. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you have, both now and in the future. We are located in Counseling and Career Services, Room L108. You may also call (773) 298-3131 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. This booklet is dedicated to Barbara Costello whose vision and passion for student welfare led to its creation and the establishment of the Safety Net Committee. Thank you for your help with supporting our students. Sincerely yours, Nancy Bonnevier, LCPC Managing Director of Student Development Director of Counseling Services Counseling and Career Services 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. PURPOSE OF THIS BOOKLET II. ABOUT PERSONAL COUNSELING AT SXU A. Who are the Personal Counselors and where can they be found? B. Eligibility for services C. Will students be seen right away? D. Should you refer to a particular Counselor? E. Confidentiality III. DISTRESSED STUDENTS A. If a student asks for help B. If a student displays distress C. Students at risk of academic failure D. Students who believe they have been a victim IV. DISTRESSING STUDENTS A. Making a referral because of problem behavior 1) Emergency situations 2) Observed behavior B. Making a referral to determine emotional stability or mental fitness V. CONCLUSION VI. ADDENDA A. Transportation Policy B. Emergency Incident/Reporting Protocol C. Non-emergency Incident/Reporting Protocol 3 I. THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOKLET This information is provided to Saint Xavier University faculty and staff in order to help decide when to refer a student for Personal Counseling services, when to notify Residential Life, Public Safety or call 911. Saint Xavier University administrators, faculty, staff and students have long been characterized by their commitment to helping others. Knowing when it's appropriate to help students, and when you are "in over your head" may pose a dilemma. While your role as teacher, advisor, dean, coach, administrator, residential aid or supervisor gives you many opportunities to get to know students on a personal basis, the role itself is not compatible with becoming deeply involved with their personal problems. When in doubt, make a referral or contact the proper party to handle the situation. The intent of referring is not to get rid of a student, but to connect them with appropriate resources. It is often helpful to refer the student to Personal Counseling, informing them that this is a free service for people just like them who are struggling with personal problems. We also urge you to err on the side of caution. If you suspect a student is struggling with personal issues, trust your instincts and contact our office for a consultation. II. ABOUT PERSONAL COUNSELING AT SXU A. Who are Personal Counselors and where can they be found? Personal Counseling is part of Counseling and Career Services, in Room L108. The office is staffed by Licensed Professional Counselors. B. Eligibility for services Counseling services are available, free of charge, to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students as well as alumni on a limited basis. Students will be assessed, and based on their need, will either be given an appointment with a counselor or a referral to an appropriate agency or outside resource. Students under 18 years old will be seen under State of Illinois guidelines which apply to counseling services for minors. C. Will students be seen right away? Students should normally be encouraged to make an appointment to see a counselor. Students in severe crisis will be seen as soon as a counselor is available, often without an appointment. Depending on the circumstances, students may be referred to outside practitioners, sources for assessment and/or more intensive clinical treatment. 4 D. Should you refer to a particular Counselor? No. Personal Counseling appointments are made according to Counselor availability and student needs. When making a referral, it is preferable that you not give students the name of a particular Counselor, but rather inform them that all Counselors are qualified to provide them with counseling services. E. Confidentiality Under most circumstances, students can be assured that their sessions with a Personal Counselor will be confidential. A student who poses a threat to self, others, or to community, or is involved in a case of abuse or neglect of minors or elders, must be advised that in such instances confidentiality will be breached to protect the people involved. Counselor-Client relationships are protected by law. A Counselor may not divulge any information regarding a Client, including the fact that the Client is a Client, to anyone without the written, informed consent of the Client, with the exceptions listed above. 5 III. DISTRESSED STUDENTS A. If a student asks for help If a student discloses personal information, asks for advice or assistance, or inquires if counseling is available for students, inform them that the University provides Personal Counseling services. An appointment can be made with a Personal Counselor by visiting Counseling and Career Services, Room L108 to fill out a Request for Services. B. If a student displays distress If a student talks with faculty, administrators or staff and 1) describes difficulties that are affecting academic or social functioning, or 2) demonstrates distress by crying, asking to talk in private, etc., it is advisable to ask the student if assistance is wanted. • If the student says "Yes" - suggest talking to a Personal Counselor and provide information for making an appointment or walk the student to Counseling and Career Service in L108. • If the student says "No" - no further action is required. C. Students at risk for academic failure Personal problems, emotional distress, substance abuse, family/financial problems, and stress are circumstances to be coped with by the student. The presence of such conditions should not be used to alter the fundamental academic requirements placed upon a student. Students who indicate that personal circumstances are interfering with their performance or who ask for special considerations may be asked if a referral to Personal Counseling is wanted. Also, you can share that Personal Counseling can provide assistance with facing and meeting academic responsibilities. D. Students who believe they have been a victim Students may follow three paths if they believe they have been victimized on campus. None of these three paths are mutually exclusive. In talking with you about the experience, students are availing themselves of the first path, the Informal Support System on campus. A referral to Personal Counseling will help students continue to explore their options in handling the situation. The other two paths available involve filing formal reports with the University Judicial System and/or with the Chicago Police Department. 6 REPORTING OPTIONS: The following options may be reviewed with students, or you may make a referral to Personal Counseling where the options can be discussed with a counselor. OPTION NO. 1. SUPPORT SYSTEM (Informal Consulting) Internal to SXU The students would choose this path if they wanted to seek informal support, or further explore options in handling the situation. On this path, they may choose to talk with: • Personal Counselor in CCS • A Hall Director • Campus Minister or Hall Minister • Resident Assistants • Peer Minister • Health Center Staff • Director of Residential Life • Faculty • Dean of Students • Coaches • CLAWS Safety Net Concern form • Public Safety confidential hot line NOTE: The university representative may be required to notify other officials of the student’s situation. 7 OPTION NO. 2. UNIVERSITY JUDICIAL SYSTEM (Formal Reporting) Internal to SXU The student would choose this path if they wanted to pursue University action against another student, staff or faculty member who victimized them, or if they needed official University help with the situation. On this path, they may be presented the options of pressing University charges through the campus judicial system, University Police and/ or reporting to the Chicago Police Department. As part of this process, they may choose to talk with any of the following people: • Director of Residential Life • Chief of Police • Director of Athletics • Dean of Students • Employee Services These individuals will provide guidance regarding their options. OPTION NO. 3. UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT (Formal or Confidential) If the student is the victim of a crime and does not want to pursue action within the University system or the criminal justice system, they may still want to consider making a confidential report. With their permission, the chief of police or a management level designee within the Department of Public Safety, can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing their identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with their wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of the student and others. With such information, the University can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the institution. OPTION NO. 4. CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT (For Reporting a Crime) External to SXU The student would choose this path if they wanted to report a crime to the local police. They may report a crime to the police as well as seek internal University support and/or judicial sanctions. The Saint Xavier University Department of Public Safety is available to arrange a neutral meeting place for the initial contact with the police and, if they wish, a representative of the University can accompany them. Saint Xavier University encourages students to report all crimes to the police. Once they report a criminal incident to the police, the University has no control over any investigation and legal processes that may result. 8 IV. DISTRESSING STUDENTS A. Making a referral because of problem behavior 1) Emergency situations If you become aware that a student is an immediate threat to him/herself or to others, contact the Department of Public Safety at ext. 3911 immediately. PLEASE NOTE: If there is an immediate threat of violence, battery, a serious medical condition, etc., call 911 immediately. 2) Observed behavior University faculty and staff have many occasions to observe students. If you witness problem behavior by a student, consult with the Director of Counseling or the Dean of Students who will impose discipline and/or make a referral for personal counseling if appropriate. You also may make a report to a member of the Safety Net Committee or a non-confidential report to the Safety Net Concern function on CLAWS. B. Making referrals to determine emotional stability or mental fitness All students are eligible for an initial evaluation with a counselor; however, if the counselor determines that a student is experiencing psychological or medical problems that require more intensive therapy or a specialized treatment approach that is not available through Counseling Services, a referral will be made to an appropriate treatment facility off-campus. V. CONCLUSION We all have opportunities to help students who are in pain or who are causing difficulties on campus. It is important that we work together to build support systems that are caring and effective. Your participation by making appropriate referrals to Personal Counseling can help not only individual students in need, but also the entire campus community. 9 TRANSPORTATION PROCEDURES RESIDENT - EMERGENCY: 1. If there is an emergency or imminent danger, ⇒ Call Public Safety for immediate containment and 911 if necessary. Immediate Emergencies and/or Life Threatening Situations, e.g.: • Weapons • Physical violence or battery • Sexual assault or • A serious medical problem including possible alcohol or other drug overdose or poisoning. • Public Safety will provide transport to a hospital unless it is a criminal or imminent danger matter; then the University Police or the Chicago Police Department (911) will be called. 2. If there is no imminent danger: • The Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety or his designated commissioned officer can contain and transport student in need of a psychiatric evaluation. • If transport is provided by Public Safety, the student and a Public Safety officer will be accompanied by a Counselor if a counselor has previous knowledge of or a relationship with the student. • A Hall Director or Hall Minister will accompany the student if there is no counselor involvement required. 10 3. Emergency Forms Packet/Readmission to Residence Hall: • Will be sent with student to the hospital, including releases and a discharge form . • The student will be responsible for bringing completed discharge forms to hall director and/or the Director of Residential Life. • Residential Life and/or Public Safety has to be notified of student’s return and given completed discharge forms before student can re-enter the residence hall NON-RESIDENT - EMERGENCY: 1. If there is imminent danger (see above criteria) – call Public Safety for immediate containment and 911 if necessary. 2. An Emergency Forms Packet will be sent with student to the hospital. The student will be responsible for bringing the completed discharge forms to Public Safety upon return to campus. 3. If there is no imminent danger during business hours, the Dean of Students or a counselor will contact a family/support person to take student to the hospital. 4. If no family/support person is available, Public Safety, accompanied by a staff person, will take the student to the hospital. 5. If after business hours, contact 911. STUDENT MEDICAL TRANSPORT: If a student needs transportation for a doctor’s appointment or other necessity approved by appropriate SXU staff, vouchers can be obtained from the Health Center, Residence Life or Public Safety to provide transportation from the Garden Cab Company, located in Oak Lawn. The vouchers will be given to the cab driver upon pick-up, and the costs may be assumed by the Dean of Students’ Office. 11 SAINT ♦ XAVIER ♦ UNIVERSITY EMERGENCY INCIDENT/DISCLOSURE REPORTING OR REFERRAL PROCEDURE FOR RESIDENT STUDENTS Incident/Disclosure NOTE: Do Not Leave Student Alone Hall Director Public Safety on call 3911 Director of 911 Counselor if Residence Life Chicago PD needed. Oak Lawn PD Evergreen PD Immediate Emergencies and/or Life Threatening Situations, e.g.: • weapons Legend • physical violence or threats • battery = judgment call • sexual assault • a serious medical problem includ- ing possible alcohol or other drug overdose or poisoning • harm to self or others CALL 911 12 SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY ♦ ♦ NON-EMERGENCY INCIDENT/DISCLOSURE REPORTING OR REFERRAL PROCEDURE FOR RESIDENT STUDENTS Incident/Disclosure NOTE: Do Not Leave Student Alone Hall Director Public Safety on call 3911 Director of Counselor if Residential Life needed Confrontational Behavior, e.g., • suicidal ideation When to Refer 1. Noticeable change in • intoxication behavior 2. Student asks for help • disruptive or menacing behavior 3. Student exhibits signs or symptoms of depression, CALL PUBLIC SAFETY anxiety, etc. @ 3911 IMMEDIATELY 13
"st xavier university in chicago"