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Responding to Students Needing Assistance

Making a Referral

Depending on the nature and immediacy of your concerns, there are several ways you can connect students to resources. After you make a referral to a support service or counseling services at Student Development, you are encouraged to follow up with the student and continue to express your support.

  • Should you have concerns about a student a student who is experiencing typical academic stress or developmental issues, you can inform the student of appropriate campus support services. Click on the Early Alert Referral Guide for an excellent resource for identifying campus resources.
  • For counseling concerns, you can offer the use of your phone and have the student call the Counseling Center (x5365) from your office. Having the student make the appointment in your presence often reduces their anxiety and increases the likelihood they will keep the appointment. Usually appointments are available within 48 hours.  You can also walk the student to the Counseling Center (ADM 220) so that the student knows where to go and the first visit is less intimidating.
  • You can opt to complete a referral by clicking on the Early Alert Referral System form and submiting it to Student Development. Upon receipt of the EARS, one of the counselors will attempt to contact the student and invite them to discuss concerns cited. It is always best to discuss the referral with the student; this discussion communicates your concern, reduces anxiety, and increases the chances the student will accept the referral.
  • For various reasons, students may want to seek resources off-campus. The Community Referral Sources document provides a listing of area resources available to students. While not comprehensive, the listing provides contact information on a variety of social service agencies, including medical, financial, legal and substance abuse assistance. You can also contact Student Development for additional community contacts.  
  • If the student is in crisis or you feel the situation needs immediate attention, call Student Development, explain the situation and make an immediate referral. The counselors will make every effort to be available and you can walk the student over.

What if I think it is an emergency?

  • If you receive a phone call from a student threatening suicide, do your best to keep the student on the line. Try and get the person's name and location. Calling 911 (or having a colleague call 911 while you keep the student on the line) is the best course of action in such a crisis. Follow-up your 911 contact by consulting with the Counseling Center staff.
  • In many instances, the distressed student is not threatening immediate harm to self or others, and you will have time to connect the student with the Counseling Center for assistance. When possible, walk the student to Student Development; the student will be seen immediately. If you are transferring a phone call to Student Development, please be sure to stay on the line with the student until you are sure the transfer was successful.
  • Other LSUS employees can also be contacted to assist you:
    • Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: Randy Butterbaugh (x5116)
    • University Police: Rebecca Chiles (#999; 795-2392)
  • Off campus agencies are also available:
    • NW Louisiana Suicide Prevention Hotline              877-994-2275
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline                        800-273-8255
  • Be sure to communicate to the student what you are doing and why: "I can hear that you are very upset. I want to connect you with a professional staff person who can help you. I am going to stay on the line with you until I am sure you are speaking with someone who can help."