Helping Students in Distress | Mercy College

Helping Students in Distress

Please follow the Helping Students in Distress Faculty/Staff Response Guide (PDF) when assisting students in distress.

The Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center is available to assisting in addressing concerns faculty and staff members may have for students. Faculty and staff members of Mercy College who have a concern about a student can contact the Counseling & Wellness Center at 419-251-1454 for assistance. For emergency situations, please contact 911 or campus security at 419-251-4444 (Toledo) or 330-480-3288 (Youngstown).

After Hours Support Services:
Toledo - Rescue Crisis - 419-255-9585
Youngstown – Help Hotline Crisis Center, Inc. - 330-747-2696
National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 800-273-8255
 
How to Refer a Student to the Counseling and Wellness Center
As soon as you are aware of an issue, you are encouraged to refer the student for counseling. The sooner there is an intervention, the better. If you are not sure how to approach a student, please do not hesitate to consult with the Director of Counseling and Wellness Center.

Some of the most common reasons to refer a student include: 

  • Self-disclosure of a personal problem
  • Difficulty adjusting to college life
  • Inability to complete assignments
  • Excessive class or exam absences
  • Inability to concentrate in class
  • Abrupt decline in academic performance
  • Inappropriate classroom or social behavior
  • Frequent crying
  • Suspicion of substance abuse
  • Suspicion of eating disorder
  • Suspicion of physical abuse
  • Difficulties in relationships
  • Social isolation
  • Decline in personal grooming
  • Desire for self-improvement

Effective strategies for referring students:

  • Speak directly and show concern.
  • Give students positive reasons for your referral. Identify the benefits of attending counseling and working toward behavior change or self-improvement.
  • Minimize the stigma associated with help-seeking behavior. Reinforce that it is OK to ask for help and that many people benefit from counseling.
  • If the environment allows, offer the use of your telephone to make the first appointment. You may also offer to walk them to the counseling office or you can also request the counselor, if available, come to your office while the student is there.
  • Once a student has made an appointment, ask the student to let you know how things worked out. This shows your continued concern for the student’s welfare. Students have the right to share what they wish to from his/her counseling session, however, the counselor is bound by confidentiality and is not able to reveal whether or not a student has participated in services without his/her permission.
  • If the student refuses to seek counseling, then respect the decision.