My son or daughter is struggling. How do I know whether to refer my student to the Counseling Center for help?
College, especially the transitions of the first year, can be stressful. While most students successfully cope with this stress, some students become overwhelmed and find the stress interfering with their studies. In general, students should be referred to counseling if their problems have compromised their ability to function academically, personally, socially, or to find pleasure in life.
Some signs and symptoms of student distress are:
- procrastination and poorly prepared work
- skipping classes
- significant decrease in level of energy
- falling asleep in class
- acting out behaviorally, including the excessive use of alcohol and other drugs
- marked changes in personal hygiene
- impaired speech or garbled and disjointed thoughts
- threats to harm oneself or others (act on this one immediately)
- high level of irritability (a bad mood persisting for weeks, or a single problem causing such pain that it’s hard to think about anything else)
- not being able to concentrate
- marked change of mood, behavior, or attitude.
If you know that one, or several of these symptoms are true for your son or daughter, it may be time for them to seek professional help. Your student can make an appointment to see a counselor by visiting or calling the Counseling Center at 212 Ceres Hall, 231-7671 (please note that the student needs to schedule his or her own appointment). The Counseling Center is open M-F 8:00-5:00 during the school year, and M-F 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. during summer and school breaks. Students may be seen immediately in crisis situations. After normal business hours, a counselor is on call to help in crisis situations; calling the Counseling Center number, 231-7671, will automatically get callers connected with help. Needing some help to navigate transitions in college is perfectly normal and the Counseling Center is here to help your student achieve as much success at NDSU as possible.
Another useful resource for those with concerns about a student is NDSU's Behavior Intervention Team. The Behavior Intervention Team is a collaborative interdisciplinary team of campus-community members that meets weekly to discuss students exhibiting behaviors indicative of crisis and elevated risk. Please see below for further details and a link to email the BIT with concerns about a student.