Referring Someone to Counseling

The Counseling Center serves roughly 15%-18% of CAS students in any given year, yet many students who need services do not seek them. Some do not know about the counseling services available on campus. Administrators, faculty, staff, and fellow students, therefore, provide a vital link in connecting students with our services.


When to Make a Referral

Sooner rather than later is a good principle to remember when considering when to make a referral. When students are struggling with psychological problems, course related deadlines often seem to approach very quickly. Additionally, counseling and medication therapies often take several weeks to work. Therefore, it is usually best to refer a student in need sooner rather than later, so that there is time for improvement before major time crunches occur.

Please click here for student guidelines regarding when to seek counseling services.

Initiating a Conversation

When initiating a conversation with a friend/student about whom you are concerned, listen in a warm, accepting, non-judgmental way and express concern for the person. If you believe it will be helpful for the person to be evaluated or receive therapy by a mental health professional, suggest that the person go to the Counseling Center. Rather than saying, "I think you need psychological help," you can frame the referral in terms of stress which is usually more acceptable. You could say, "From what we have discussed, it sounds like you have been under a lot of stress. The Counseling Center here on campus has people who have been specifically trained to listen to students and help them deal with stress. I can help you get an appointment. Would that be okay?" Assure the student that the Counseling Center services are free and confidential. Also, try to give them hope that they can be helped.

If a student says, "Yes," offer to call the Counseling Center at that time to schedule an appointment. If the student agrees to this, call the Counseling Center at 909-748-8108, and let the administrative assistant know that you are with a student who wants to make an appointment. They will ask to speak with the student and you can give the student the phone and we'll take care of the rest. Depending on how busy the student is, most are scheduled with an appointment within a few days to a week. It can take longer if the student has a very busy schedule and wants to see a particular therapist.

If a student says, "No," or "Let me think about it," please write down the Counseling Center's phone number and say, "I hope you will try this, at least one time." Framing the appointment as a one-time consultation can often reduce the stigma associated with seeking help. Remember that counseling is a personal choice, unless the student is a danger to themselves or others. Not every student you approach will be receptive. Yet, for many students, your willingness to have this conversation with them will be life-changing.

You may want to follow-up with the student to demonstrate your commitment to assist in the process. Remember that students have a right to privacy regarding their mental health and treatment and they may or may not want to share information with you.

Urgent Referrals

Sometimes, psychological and emotional problems need to be addressed as soon as possible and cannot wait for a routine intake appointment.  For example, you may have concerns that a student may be at risk for suicide, harm to others, or may not be able to function unless seen immediately or within a day or so. Information about urgent situations and emergencies is here.