Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
Web Tools and Search Bar
University Counseling Center
Referring a Friend/Student to the University Counseling Center
If someone's safety is involved, take action--notify a mental health professional or OPS. If the person is in immediate danger, call 911.
It can be difficult to get a student to the University Counseling Center. The UCC staff completely understands the situation when the student does not want to come. The reasons for hesitating can range from the student's perception that the problem is not significant enough to warrant coming to us, to the fear that we may find that the student has problems. Remember, you can seldom go wrong if you approach the student in a caring, concerned manner. The following are some guidelines to consider as you try to get the student to come to the Counseling Center.
- Acknowledge the student's concerns--for example, you can say "Yes, I understand that you think your problem is minor··· but I still think you should go to the Counseling Center."
- Try to be specific, for example, you can say, "For the past three days you have been in your room and you haven't been going to class. I am really worried about you."
- You can remind the student that coming to the Counseling Center is not indicative that there is a problem. You can tell the student that the Counseling Center is a resource they can use to determine whether or not there is a problem.
- You can remind the student that the interactions with the counselor are confidential and are not part of the student's academic or health records.
- If it will help get the student to the Counseling Center, you, or someone else, can accompany the student.
- You can give the student options, for example, you can ask the student, "Do you prefer to go the Counseling Center on Tuesday at 10:00 or 3:00."
- You can call the Counseling Center to get the name of a specific counselor you can refer the student to--sometimes this helps get the student to come in.
- You can tell the student that even if we cannot help them, we can refer them to a person or facility that can help (for example, we can refer them to Community Mental Health and McDonough District Hospital.)
- You can call the Counseling Center for suggestions as to how to get the student to obtain help.
- You can tell the student that if they are afraid of seeing a counselor, there are other ways of obtaining information and help. For example, we often offer group counseling, and we have video tapes, audio tapes, computer programs, and reading materials they can use to find out if they have a problem; or, if they have a problem, to find some possible solutions.
- If the student still does not want to come to the Counseling Center and safety issues are not involved (that is, their life and those of others are not in danger,) then you can give them our address and phone number and tell them that they can contact us when they are ready to do so.
Remember--we want to help!