Often faculty, staff, friends, or family will notice changes in an individual before he/she does. This may result in concern for the person and a desire to refer them for counseling. We suggest that you first speak to the individual, expressing your concern for them and encourage them to call or come by CAPS to make an appointment. You may also call and consult with staff to gather ideas on how to refer an individual who may be wary of seeking help.
The following resources are available to you:
- Request a CAPS presentation
- Learn to recognize the signs of distress
- Ulifeline screenings can help you learn how to recognize the warning signs
- Additional online resources
If you are unsure of how to handle a specific student:
- Call us at 301-2862, inform the secretary who you are (faculty, staff, administrator) and ask to speak with a psychologist.
- A brief consultation may help you sort out the relevant issues and explore alternative approaches.
- For the student, conveying your concern and willingness to help in any way (including referral) is probably the most important thing you can do. Your support, encouragement, and reassurance will be particularly valuable.
Tips for referring a student to CAPS:
- Explain clearly and concisely why you think counseling will help.
- Having the student call for an appointment right then increases her/his responsibility and commitment to come in for counseling.
- There may be times when it is more advantageous for you to accompany the student to our office.
Some situations are urgent:
- Fear of harming oneself or someone else
- Fear of "losing control"
- Sexual Assault or Date Rape
- Death of loved one or close friend
- Acting strangely or out of touch with reality
In these cases, call CAPS (301-2862) or Mercer Police (301-2911).
Other points to know:
- All discussions are CONFIDENTIAL except when the student presents a danger to him/herself or others, or when abuse of a child or elderly person is involved.
- All services are FREE to currently enrolled Mercer University students.
- Our individual counseling services are designed for students who can benefit from time-limited counseling. If long-term therapy, medication prescription/management, or hospitalization is indicated, the student will be referred to an appropriate off campus resource.