Support and Collaboration
With each problem comes an opportunity for growth.
Introduction to Counseling Services
If Counseling Services is closed, call the office (717-544-9051) and press “0” to reach the answering service and the on-call counselor.
Counseling Services is committed to helping college students with a variety of issues, ranging from adjustment to college life to coping with more severe traumatic events and emotional problems. Common concerns include depression, anxiety, academic issues, personal growth, career decision-making, family issues, sexual identity issues, stress management, interpersonal relationships, grief and loss, eating issues, substance abuse, and sexuality. It is our goal to help students obtain the maximum benefit from their educational experience by providing a range of psychological support services.
Please read "Your Role as a Faculty Member" below to see how you can best support your students.
The Counseling Services staff is available to consult with faculty or professional staff members about a student of concern, management of difficult classroom behavior and/or mental health issues in general. Please let us know how we can assist you.
Your Role as a Faculty Member
As a Franklin & Marshall College faculty or professional staff member, students view you as a source of instruction, assistance, and possibly personal support.
Your ability to recognize signs of serious emotional distress and your courage to acknowledge your concerns directly are often later noted by students as the most significant factor in their seeking help and successful resolving the problem.
In conversations with students, some of them will naturally share their successes as well as their academic stresses and pressures, and a few students may share their own personal stories and struggles. With other students, you may notice indirectly-expressed signs of personal problems. You may become a potential resource to students in times of trouble, no matter how comfortable you are in that role.
Please feel free to consult Counseling Services any time for help, and please go back to explore the other links for Faculty of useful information and resources for how you can best help your students.
Signs of Student Distress
Signs of Psychological Distress:
- Excessive anxiety or panic
- Depression, chronic fatigue, suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm
- Severe self-doubt, low self-esteem
- Confused, disorganized, or suspicious thinking
- Bizarre or inappropriate behavior and/or appearance
- Changes in personal relationships or physical appearance
- Sexual or physical abuse/harassment
- Loneliness and poor relationship skills
- More talkative than usual, unusual energy, decreased need for sleep
- Confusion regarding sexual behavior and identity
- Perfectionistic behavior and overwhelming test anxiety
- Problems with alcohol or other drugs
- Eating or body image problems
- Aggressive or overly argumentative behavior
- Missing classes, responsibilities, procrastination, avoidance
How to Refer Students to Counseling
How to Help a Distressed Student
Below are several recommendations for how Faculty members can approach and support a distressed student and make a referral to Counseling Services. Faculty may also call Counseling Services to consult about how to address a particular student concern more specifically.
- Arrange to speak to the student in private.
- Avoid sounding judgmental or offering advice outside of your expertise.
- Show concern and interest.
- Listen carefully and repeat back the essence of what the student says.
- Express why you think that counseling might be helpful, while also stressing that it’s the student’s choice to seek counseling.
- Assure the student that counseling is confidential. Click HERE for our confidentiality policy.
- Have the student call Counseling Services from your office to schedule an appointment. If the student is reluctant to set up an appointment suggest that he/she utilize the walk-in hour from 3:00-4:00pm weekdays. During this time, students can walk into Counseling Services and be seen by a counselor without needing an appointment.
- If the student is reluctant to seek help, ask the student to think about your recommendation or to just try one counseling session. Refer the student to the “Services for Students” section of this website for more information about our office and mental health information. Let the student know that because of your concern, you will follow up with them again in a week.
- In an emergency, you may choose to walk the student over to Counseling Services. Please click HERE for emergency information. We consider a situation to be an emergency when there is imminent danger of physical harm to self and/or others, disabling emotional distress (uncontrollable crying, agitation), and/or gross impairment in thinking. If possible, please call the office to let us know that you are bringing a student in. This will allow us to be prepared to have a counselor available to meet with your student when you arrive.
How is a Student doing?
We understand that you may be interested in knowing whether a student followed up on your referral. Due to ethics, federal and state laws, and concern that clients might be reluctant to fully discuss problems, counselors may not share any information, including attendance, without a written release, except in life-threatening situation. If a student mentions that she/he has been referred, the counselor encourages the student to return to the referring person to let him/her know how the session went. You can always ask the student directly, or ask the student to sign a release at Counseling Services, allowing us to share information with you. In addition, you can call Counseling Service to consult about how to handle interactions with the student after you have made your referral.