How to Make Referral a to Counseling Services

There are many ways to talk to a student about a possible referral for counseling. First, never tell a student they “need to go" or they "have a problem." Let them know you are concerned and care about how they are doing. Assure them counseling is a "safe place to go talk to someone about anything that is stressing them out." Also tell them it is free and confidential. You could also say, "Do you know we have Counseling Services on campus?" Normalize their concerns and remind them they are not alone. Offer to help with the referral by filling out the Counseling Center Referral Form (pdf). Once completed, email Bonnie Williams at the Wellness Center bonnie.williams@sunypoly.edu.

If this is a situation in which the student is making direct and implicit statements about killing themselves please contact University Police immediately. It is ok to tell the student their safety comes first and you have to do everything in your power to make sure nothing bad will happen to them. University Police will come to where you are and assess the situation; if they feel the student needs to come and talk to one of us, he/she will bring the student here.


Due to confidentiality laws we cannot inform you if the student you are referring actually came in to see us, unless a written release of information has been signed by them. When we know a student has been directly referred by a staff or faculty member we always encourage the person to sign this release giving us a one-time permission to let the referral source know the student came in.

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