Identifying students in need

As a faculty or staff members, you likely interact with students in a variety of ways and may notice when there is a change in a student's behavior or in their emotional health. These include changes in academic performance, personal hygiene, classroom attendance, tearfulness, unprovoked anger or hostility, self-injury (cutting) and isolation, among other things. These changes in behavior may be a student's way of expressing a need or wish for help or assistance and should not be ignored.

How to get help for students in need

If you are unsure about how to speak to a student whose behavior is of concern to you, please consult with one of the clinicians at Student Counseling Services (860-439-4587 or x4587) to brainstorm various possible ways for you to proceed, such as by either speaking directly to the student, referring the student to an appropriate resource or by contacting staff or administrators who can monitor the student.

The Student Counseling Services staff members are often limited in what they are able to do outside of their offices. We offer treatment to any student who requests it but we cannot "recruit" patients. We will not approach students with concerns that others have about them. The Student Life Office deans and academic deans can be more proactive in their approaches to students. They are able to contact students who might be troubled or whose behavior is of concern to faculty, staff or other students, or whose actions are disrupting the orderly functioning of the campus community.

If you think that a student could benefit from some counseling or if the student seems to be in some crisis, you can refer the student directly to our office (860-439-4587) and suggest they make an appointment. In the past, faculty and staff members have even walked a student to our offices either to make an appointment or to be seen by a counselor immediately. In urgent situations, we will make space in our schedules to see a student in need immediately. No one can compel a student to seek counseling treatment. However, if you encounter a student that you think is in distress or whose behavior is disruptive, but is resistant to counseling, we encourage you to contact that student's academic dean or call one of the deans in the Student Life Office who can follow-up with that student.

No student should have license to disrupt continually the orderly functioning of the college community life, even if there is an emotional or mental health "cause" for it. These types of behaviors are better viewed as needing disciplinary action. Clinical treatment should not be seen as an excuse for bad behavior.

The Connecticut College CARE (Concern, Assessment, Response, Evaluation) Team

The Connecticut College CARE (Concern, Assessment, Response, Evaluation) Team provides coordinated support for students in distress and addresses concerns about student behavior, academic progress, and personal issues, including mental health concerns. The CARE Team gathers information from personal contact with students, faculty, staff and family members, as well as from reports submitted by members of the community. 

If you think that a student is in imminent danger of hurting him/herself or someone else, contact Campus Safety at 860-439-2222 (or x111 from a campus phone).