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For Faculty - What to do

It's important to intervene when you are concerned that a student may be in distress.  The following strategies are useful to consider when deciding how to approach your student:

  • Stay calm: If you are able to remain calm, it is more likely that the student will respond calmly.
  • Speak with your student privately: These are sensitive issues, and it’s important to protect the student’s confidentiality.
  • Express concern: Let the student know what you are seeing that is concerning to you. Express your positive regard and desire for him or her to be successful.
  • Be accepting and non-judgmental: Help your student determine what the problem might be, without minimizing feelings or judging him or her for feeling distressed.
  • Offer support: Listen without trying to diagnose or solve the problem. Ask what you can do to help.
  • Encourage your student to seek help: Let the student know that there are services available such as JHSAP which is free and confidential. Possible Student Concerns about Counseling

Know your limits as a helper:  Intervening with a student in crisis can be stressful and draining.  It's important to make sure that you and the student you are trying to help receive support.   The following are important components of self care in difficult situations:

  • Look for other sources of help and support so that you are not the only one.
  • Maintain your professional boundaries to prevent creating a dependency or sending the wrong message. This includes being cautious to engage in after-hours communications and social media.
  • Do not take on the role of therapist.
  • Do not tolerate rude behavior.
  • Do not ignore warning signs.

When in doubt, consult. JHSAP provides consultation services to faculty and staff regarding how to handle difficult situations with students.  You can call 443-287-7000 to talk with a clinician about your concerns and to get advice on how to proceed.

Professional ethics and state and federal laws dictate that sessions conducted by JHSAP staff are confidential in nature.  Information about sessions or their content will be released only upon (a) a student's written request, and/or (b) circumstances where a clear danger to the individual, others, or the institution exists, or as may be required by law.  JHSAP adheres strictly to this policy.

Faculty and staff often have an understandable desire to know if a student who has been referred to JHSAP has actually attended a session and/or if any progress is being made.  With the student’s permission, we will confirm whether a student has made an appointment following a referral, but will not discuss details without a signed release of information from the student.

This policy can at times be frustrating to faculty and staff who want some basic information.  The desired information can best be obtained directly from the student.  We also encourage students to let the referring faculty or staff member know that he or she kept an appointment.  Students can discuss with their counselor which information should be shared with faculty or staff.

All records are maintained and managed by the JHSAP; clinical records are NOT part of a student’s academic file.  All clinical documentation is maintained separately from EPR and EPIC medical records.

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In case of an emergency, call 911.