Refer a student

When to refer:

Common concerns or issues that might indicate appropriateness of SCS services include:

  • Reference to suicide
    • All references to suicide need to be taken seriously. It is all right to ask directly, "Are you having thoughts about suicide?" If the student's response is affirmative, a call to consult with SCS is warranted. If a student talks about or alludes to details of how, when, and where of a suicidal plan, immediate consultation and referral is critical.
  • Changes in mood/behavior
  • Depression
  • Learning problems (may indicate underlying problems)
  • Career concerns
  • Retention issues

When you might not want to deal with it yourself:

  • The problem feels too much for you to deal with
  • You know the student in a non-professional way (friend, relative, neighbor)
  • You don't feel you will be of help to them
  • The student seems hesitant to talk with you about it
  • The student asks for a referral

How to refer:

  • Let the student know specifically what it is that you are concerned about
  • Make it clear that your referral represents your best judgment about what would be of help to them
  • Let them know what they could expect if they were to come in
  • Let them know that they, of course, have the right not to take the referral

If they do agree to the referral:

  • Have them call SCS to make the appointment or call with them present 
  • If they are unable to come in on their own, call the SCS for assistance
  • It is good to follow up with the student to let them know that you are interested in how things are going (you don't have to pry)
  • After the student's appointment, SCS cannot discuss their case with you without a release of information signed by the student 
  • If they do not agree to the referral and you are concerned for their safety, call SCS and consult with a staff member

What happens when they come in:

  • Students will schedule an initial appointment, usually within the week (can do this same day if an emergency)
  • Students will meet with a counselor to discuss the presenting issues, usually about one hour
  • The counselor will help the student get connected with appropriate services

Emergencies:

During the day, there are emergency time slots for students in immediate need, and students can typically be seen that day. Simply call or have the student call SCS (513-529-4634).

For emergencies outside of business hours, the Community and Counseling and Crisis Center (844-427-4747) has a 24-hour hotline. SCS provides an "on-call" service for psychological emergencies that occur on weekends and after normal university business workday hours. At these times, call the Miami University Police (513-529-2222). When you call, you will be asked for your name and phone number. These will be provided to the "on-call" counselor who will phone you to consult with you.