It is important that you know your personal limits as a helper. You may not feel comfortable trying to help students cope with their problems. Your best course of action probably lies in helping them get to a place that can provide the most helpful services. To do this you can:
- reinforce the person confiding in you; acknowledge their hurting.
- be accepting and non-judgmental.
- try to identify the problem area.
- indicate in a gentle but direct manner that professional assistance is the positive step that is needed to deal with the pain and that you will assist them in finding competent professionals.
Suggesting the Referral
- Confer with a counselor and gather information on resources specific to your concern.
- Choose a private time and place to meet.
- Tell the student that you are concerned by the things you are seeing (be careful not to diagnose).
- Describe the behavior you have seen – be specific about the time and place.
- Express concern over the behavior.
- Outline what you would like to see.
Making the Referral
Options for referring the student include:
- Calling and asking to walk the student over immediately.
- Calling and asking to send the student over immediately.
- Giving the student the name of a counselor to contact.