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For Faculty - Referring a Student

JHSAP manages four types of student referrals.  The nature and degree of the student’s difficulty determine which referral type is most suitable.

Self Referral

The self referral occurs when the student decides to contact JHSAP for assistance. If the student is not physically in the local area, a phone appointment may be scheduled for consultation.  In crisis situations, JHSAP offers emergency assistance and can be accessed on a 24-hour basis.

Informal Referral

This voluntary and informal referral to JHSAP is best when faculty/staff are aware that problems are causing distress, but that distress is not impacting school performance or relationships.

  1. Faculty/staff may provide the JHSAP phone number and/or website and encourage the student to call/email directly to schedule
  2. Explain to student that JHSAP services are free and confidential
  3. JHSAP will not share any information to the referring party, including if the student has called or scheduled an appointment

Facilitated Referral

This voluntary referral to JHSAP is best when faculty/staff are aware that problems are causing distress, but that distress is not significantly impacting school performance or relationships. This referral should be considered when a student has asked for your help in scheduling an appointment or you feel the student may benefit from your support in scheduling an appointment

  1. Faculty/staff call or email JHSAP with the student to request an appointment
    • Phone Call instructions: Call JHSAP and state you would like to help a student schedule an appointment. Pass the phone to the student so that the student may schedule an appointment.
    • Email instructions: Email a member of the JHSAP team and CC the student. Suggested language for email: "I would like to introduce you to STUDENT, who is CC’d on this email. STUDENT and I met today and agreed it may be helpful to schedule an appointment at JHSAP." A JHSAP team member will then follow up directly with student to coordinate scheduling.
  2. ​Explain that JHSAP services are free and confidential
  3. JHSAP will not share any information to the referring party, including if the student has called or scheduled an appointment

Documented Referral

This formal and voluntary referral is useful when faculty/staff are aware that problems at home, school, or with one's mental health are causing distress and that distress is negatively impacting the student's school performance, behavioral concerns, or both. This referral is useful when the faculty/staff would like confirmation from JHSAP that the student has attended the appointment.​

  1. Consultation with JHSAP - JHSAP should be contacted and alerted in advance of making the referral. A clinician will listen to your concerns and advise on the appropriate type of referral for the situation, and then discuss preparations for your conversation with the student.
  2. Constructive Conversation - Based on the consultation with JHSAP, a plan will be developed for the division chair, administrator, and/or dean of student affairs to meet with the student and review a written account of the behavior which has become a part of a pattern of decline, or a particular incident which warrants action, including dates and times of the behavior. Communicate as clearly as possible the expectations for improvement and discuss the consequences of failure to resolve the problem. This meeting should focus solely on identifying the behavior and/or performance concerns, not on any possible personal causes.
  3. Making the Referral - Inform the student that JHSAP has been consulted with regard to this situation and strongly urge him or her to access the program. The referring party may facilitate an appointment for the student or leave it up to the student to contact JHSAP. Students should always be given the program contact information. The final decision to use JHSAP is made by the student.

Feedback - Information concerning the nature of the student’s problem will not be disclosed to anyone without a signed release from the student.  With a signed release of information, the referring party will be told only whether the student is working toward a plan to resolve the personal situation and if they are keeping appointments.

Declining the Referral - A student may choose to decline assistance through JHSAP.  Participation is voluntary.  However, the student remains responsible for acceptable behavior and performance.  Further observation of students who decline a referral is always recommended.  If concerns persist, contact JHSAP to discuss whether or not the situation can be elevated to a dean’s referral.

Dean’s Referral

In rare situations, a dean’s referral may be pursued when there are imminent concerns about a student’s mental or emotional health, medical condition, or inappropriate behavior or communication. In extraordinary circumstances when a student has not or cannot voluntarily address the issues of concerns, a dean’s referral may be initiated for fitness for study or risk assessment.  This referral is initiated by a dean, division chair, or director of student affairs who works closely with JHSAP.

Risk Assessment

There is increasing pressure on all academic environments to assess certain behaviors, language, attitudes and gestures that may appear intimidating, harassing, threatening, or unsafe to others.  These situations are often quite complex and difficult to understand.  Because the university is committed to providing a safe learning environment, JHSAP partners with the Johns Hopkins Risk Assessment Team (RATeam) upon request to assist in understanding the concerning situation. 

The RATeam is a multidisciplinary group made up of representatives from the dean’s office, General Counsel, Security, and JHSAP. The effectiveness of the risk assessment process is centered around the interactive and complementary expertise and functioning of the RATeam as a whole. The RATeam provides support, recommendations, and guidance to the administration.

Upon consultation with JHSAP or Security, the dean and/or associate dean may require a student to participate in the risk assessment process outlined at The referral guidelines and procedures described do not take the place of school-specific policies.

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