Faculty and staff are often confronted with student health related information, either as a result of the student's self-disclosure or the faculty or staff member's concern for student wellbeing. If you are concerned about a student's wellbeing, we encourage you to reach out and tell someone immediately.
If you have concerns about a student's immediate safety, please call DPS at 717-245-1111. There are always professionals on-call to assist in the assessment and management of students who are at risk to harm themselves or someone else.
For non-emergency situations, the College’s CARE (Coordination, Assessment, Response, and Education) Team exists to address potentially unsafe situations or behaviors that disrupt a student's academic or social wellbeing within the Dickinson community. To make a report to the CARE team about a student concern, click here.
Faculty and staff are also welcome to call the Wellness Center to consult about specific student concerns or how to support students who are struggling. Please call 717-245-1663 if you would like to schedule a phone consultation with one of our counselors (or another clinical staff member).
Please know that we cannot promise you confidentiality, as this privilege belongs only to the student who is in treatment with us and not third party consultants. We also will not be able to confirm or deny whether or not an individual student is seeking services from us, but we will consult with you to the best of our ability about your best next steps to assist the student. You may also find it helpful to review the information below about how to recognize when students might need help.
Please note: The Wellness Center does not provide excuses for class absences. Please see information related to the class absence and other policies for more details.
When Students Might Need Help
It can sometimes be difficult to determine when a student might benefit from counseling. Below is a list of common signs that a student may need help as well as some information on how to refer a student to counseling. For more answers to common questions about all the Wellness Center services please see our FAQs. If you cannot find your question listed, please give us a call and we will do our best to assist you.
Changes in Mood or Behavior: Actions that are inconsistent with a student's normal behavior may indicate that the student experiencing psychological distress. An individual who withdraws from usual social interaction, stops communicating with friends and family, has periods of unexplained crying or outbursts of anger, or seems unusually anxious, depressed, or irritable may be suffering from a psychological problem.
Changes in Personal Relationships: The death of a family member or close friend, difficulties in family or romantic relationships, or the ending of a romantic relationship can result in increased stress and psychological difficulties.
References to Suicide: If you are concerned that a student may be suicidal, contact the Wellness Center for consultation immediately at 245-1663 or the Department of Public Safety at 245-1111, after hours, to speak to a member of the college's on call team to assess the urgency of intervention needed.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Excessive drinking, drug abuse, or drug dependence pose serious health risks and will interfere with a student's ability to succeed academically. In addition, drug or alcohol abuse sometimes indicates the presence of psychological problems that they may be self-medicating or avoiding through the use of substances. The Wellness Center can evaluate a student's alcohol and/or drug use and provide services or offer referrals for treatment if needed.
Adjustment Difficulties: The process of adjusting to college life can be stressful; a student must adapt to new academic and social environments, and cope with living away from family and in a residence hall with a roommate. Some students feel anxious, sad, or homesick during their first weeks and months here. Difficulties may also occur when a student returns from overseas study or is anticipating graduation. The Wellness Center can support students through these various transitions.
How to Make a Referral for Counseling
Present your concerns to the individual in a direct and specific manner. Suggest that the student consider talking to a counselor at the Wellness Center. If you are on campus, you might offer to walk the person to the office during Open Hours or assist them in calling to make an appointment. Even if you think a student needs counseling, that student has a right to disagree with you. If a student does not decide to seek help, and you remain concerned about him or her, it's a good idea to reiterate your concerns at a later date as well as bring them up to the CARE team (Dean of Students Office). If you are unsure of how to approach a student you are worried about, or a student has responded negatively to your approach, feel free to call the Wellness Center at 245-1663 for consultation about what to do next.
In emergency situations involving students who are unwilling or unable to seek help on their own, call Public Safety at 245-1111. There are always professionals on call to assist in the assessment and management of students who are at risk to harm themselves or someone else.
Help for Faculty and Staff
While the Wellness Center only provides assessment and treatment services for students, faculty and staff looking for resources for themselves or a colleague may benefit from utilizing the College's employee assistance program. For more information, visit the Employee Assistance Program page.
Other Helpful Resources
In emergency situations involving students who are unwilling or unable to seek help on their own, please call Public Safety immediately at 245-1111.
For Information on how to cope with a loss, please see this resource on healthy grieving .
More information about Dickinson’s CARE team can be found here: https://www.dickinson.edu/info/20226/student_life/3540/care_team
Please visit the Access and Disability Services website to access other helpful resources for supporting students: https://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/71/disability_services