Mansfield University is a community in the best sense of the word. We look out for each other. We push ourselves to dream big. We work hard to achieve success. We care. Mansfield welcomed its first student in 1857 - and to this day, the University continues to seek and serve students with big dreams for their futures.
share your interest and concern openly, directly, and with care;
set clear limits, don't lead the individual to believe you will "take care of everything";
maintain the individual's privacy;
do NOT promise confidentiality, inform the individual that you may need to speak to others (qualified professionals), but that you will exercise discretion while doing so;
allow the individual the opportunity and freedom to speak to you, to tell you what is wrong;
paraphrase what the individual has told you - this will ensure you understand correctly and will show that you are listening and attempting to understand;
clarify vague, confusing, or disturbing disclosures;
inquire as to how the individual is attempting to resolve the problem(s);
discuss with the individual the consequences of "doing more of the same", discuss new options for coping with the problem(s);
suggest a referral to the Counseling Center, or to some other source if the individual is unwilling to see a campus based therapist;
explain to the individual that counseling is not just for "crazy people", discuss various reasons people have for seeking counseling (financial worries, drug and alcohol problems, roommate difficulties, etc.);
and finally, realize that once the individual has been referred and is receiving assistance from a qualified professional, you will not necessarily be kept informed as to what progress is being made. Whether or not you are is entirely up to that individual .
Some further guidelines regarding when to refer:
when the problems or requests made are beyond your level of competence;
when there are personality differences which interfere with your ability to work with the individual;
when the boundaries of your role make it unwise to work with the individual on personal issues;
when the individual expresses a preference (directly or indirectly) to speak with someone else regarding the problem(s); and
when, after some time and effort, you feel you are not making any progress in helping the individual.
Pennsylvania's Premier Public Liberal Arts University