faculty/staff guide for student referrals

Many students seek counseling with the encouragement of faculty, staff, friends, family, or other trusted people in their support system. This guide is designed to give you the information needed to make a referral to ORU Student Counseling Services. This guide is summarized into specific steps at the end of this document.

When should I refer a student to the student counseling center?

Generally, it is a good idea to suggest counseling if a student appears to be experiencing depression, anxiety, or a significant relational conflict, exhibiting disruptive behavior, or is in some type of crisis. Clues to these problems might include a marked change in the student’s quality of work or appearance, report of experiencing a significant traumatic event, or hints that the student drops in conversation that elicit significant concern for the student, such as “I don’t think I can go on like this anymore.” If you are unsure how to handle a particular situation, you are welcome to contact the counseling staff for consultation at 918.495.6581 or counseling@oru.edu.

How does a student go about making an appointment for counseling?

To request an appointment for counseling, the student first needs to complete the following Appointment Form. Some faculty/staff report accessing the Appointment Form in their office or on their mobile device with the student present to help the student complete and submit the Appointment Form if the student desires support in taking this step. Once the Appointment Form is submitted, the student will be contacted by ORU Student Counseling Services staff within 72 hours to discuss scheduling their initial appointment or to be provided with referrals to other counselors in the community.

What do I do when a student in crisis shows up in my office or job site?

If a student shows up in your office in an emotional crisis, listen and show that you care, and see if you can determine the degree of urgency in the situation. If the student is emotional but is not experiencing any urgent needs or safety concerns that would need to be addressed immediately, you are welcome to refer to the instructions listed in the previous paragraphs sections to help get the student connected with counseling.

If a student is in an urgent crisis or has disclosed current thoughts of suicide or other pressing safety concerns that would need to be addressed that day, please remain with the student, call ORU Student Counseling Services front desk at 918.495.6581 to notify them of the situation, and walk with the student to ORU Student Counseling Services. Once a therapist is available, the therapist will talk with the student to assess for safety and make sure the student has what they need in order to safely navigate their pressing situation.

If you are with a student who has expressed urgent needs or safety concerns that need to be addressed immediately and you are unable to get a hold of one of our ORU therapists, please call COPES, a crisis outreach hotline that has therapists by the phone 24/7, at (918) 744-4800.  If you or the student are in a life-threatening emergency or if there is immediate risk of death, please call 911.

Does Student Counseling Services ever refer students for off-campus counseling?

Yes, sometimes our therapists might not have openings available that fit with a particular student’s schedule. Other times a student might be best served by specialized treatment not offered by our own counselors. Any student who we are not able to provide counseling for is given a list of Tulsa Area Resources with a variety of options of other therapists and community resources the student is welcome to pursue.

How do I know if students I’ve referred actually come to counseling?

ORU Student Counseling Services must honor students’ privacy and confidentiality, which means that we are not able to communicate to you if the student you referred has attended counseling or not unless that student signs a release form for us to be able to communicate that information to you.

In summary:

If you believe that a student is in need of counseling:

  1. Check on the student, stating “I noticed… and I’m wondering how you’re doing.”
  2. Let the student know that ORU has counselors available to talk to students who are going through a hard time.
  3. Offer to help the student complete the following Appointment Form to initiate getting a counseling appointment set up
  4. If needed, call ORU Student Counseling Services at 918.495.6581 or e-mail us at counseling@oru.edu to consult.

If you judge that a student is in an urgent crisis or might be at immediate risk of harm and needs an assessment completed that day:

  1. Remain with the student until you are able to get them connected with help. Call ORU Student Counseling Services at 918.495.6581 to notify them of the situation making sure to describe what was disclosed to you and your urgent concerns about the student.
  2. Walk with the student to ORU Student Counseling Services (located in the Learning Resources Center on the 5th floor of the library, down the hallway beside the Writing Center).
  3. Once a therapist is available, the therapist will talk with the student to assess for safety and make sure the student has what they need in order to safely navigate their pressing situation.
  4. If you are with a student who has expressed urgent needs or safety concerns that need to be addressed immediately, please call COPES, a crisis outreach hotline that has therapists by the phone 24/7, at (918) 744-4800. If you or the student are in a life-threatening emergency or if there is immediate risk of death, please call 911.