Loyola University Maryland

Counseling Center

Helping Students in Distress

   Level 1
A student with
uncomfortable emotions
Level 2
A student with intensity and/or chronically uncomfortable emotions
Level 3
A student with evidence of danger to self or others
Examples Sadness, stress/anxiety, social withdrawal, family difficulties, academic concerns, adjustment concerns Frequent crying, difficulty concentrating, panic attacks, behavioral outbursts, social isolation, non-lethal self harm (ex. cutting) aggressive/disruptive/bizarre behavior, suicidal behavior, evidence of plan to harm others, homicidal behavior, significant disconnection from reality.
What to do
  • Listen, emphasize, and encourage.
  • Facilitate opportunities for peer connection (resident assistant, evergreen, student clubs, group fitness, Graduate Student Organization/Grad Fridays)
  • Facilitate opportunities for staff support (Assistant Director of Student Life, Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, Disability Support Services, Career Center, Office of Student Engagement, Graduate Department Chair, Director of Technology and Graduate Student Services).
  • Stay connected by checking in with student occasionally.
  • Level 1 responses, plus...
  • Refer to counseling center and provide support in scheduling appointment if student is willing (call front desk: 410-617-2273, walk student to Counseling Center in HU 150, consult with Counseling Center counselor).
  • Refer to other campus supports, as appropriate.
  • Consult with your supervisor.
  • Contact the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Development at 410-617-5646 or Dean of Students at 410-617-2842.
  • If after-hours, contact Public Safety to be connected with campus resources (410-617-5911).
  • If the immediate safety or the student or others is in danger, contact Public Safety at 410-617-5911.
For resources and more information
  • The Counseling Center Website
  • Kognito: interactive program that allows users to learn how to approach at-risk students and make appropriate referrals to campus support services for screening and assessment 
*Please note: if there is any report of suicidal thoughts, plan, or intent, contact the Counseling Center right away (410-617-2273). If after-hours, contact Public Safety to be connected with campus resources (410-617-5911)
*Please note: for urgent, after-hours concerns involving graduate students, please contact Public Safety to be connected with campus resources (410-617-5911) 

Connecting with Supportive Resources on Campus

General Information:

A supportive conversation with a student that is struggling can go a long way in helping them achieve success at Loyola. The goal is not to solve problems, but to provide caring guidance and assistance in connecting with campus resources.

Please do not give assurances of confidentially. A student who appears to pose a threat to self or others needs to be referred for help and supervision.

Counseling Center (x2273):

  • If you are with a student and you are suggesting that they make an appointment with us, you can call while they are with you and have them make an appointment. This way the student knows you are concerned, we know you are concerned, and the likelihood of the student getting intervention is greatly increased.
  • Consultation services are available to help to help make decisions about whether to refer a student to counseling, what steps might be taken, whether it is an urgent concern, and how to proceed. Remember that FERPA only applies to prohibiting the release of information derived from a student’s educational records unless it is needed to protect the health or safety of a student. So, please contact us if you have any concerns or questions about a student.
  • The situation does not have to be urgent to give us a call and discuss your concerns.  We try to track concerns about students, so if we hear from several members of the community, we can respond before a situation becomes a crisis.
  • There is an emergency counselor available each day (8:30-5:00) to provide consultation to the campus community. We provide this service to assist you with any concerns you might have about a student. We try to take calls right away, but if we are with another student, please leave times and numbers at which you can be reached.
  • Consider completing Kognito, an interactive program that allows users to learn how to approach at-risk students and make appropriate referrals to campus support services for screening and assessment

Campus Police (x5911):

  • If a student is threatening you in any way or poses an imminent risk to themselves or others

Office of the Vice President for Student Development (x. 5646) or Dean of Students (x2842):

If a student is acting out in a disruptive or bizarre way, please call the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Development office (410-617-5646)

Student Support and Wellness Promotion (x2928):

  • Offers individual support services to students who may need assistance with navigating the complexity of college life, are contemplating a medical leave of absence, or who have returned from a medical leave of absence and require support.

Sexual Violence Prevention, Education, and Response Coordinator and Program Manager (x6769): 

  • Confidential resource for concerns about sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, emotional abuse, and stalking.
  • Can provide information regarding options for medical resources, Title IX process, and legal process. 

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students (x5646):

  • To report a sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking or sexual harassment
  • Can provide interim measures such as no contact orders, new housing assignment; changes to class schedules; assistance with rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exam, etc.); tutoring support; changes to work schedules/situations; transportation assistance and escorts to and from campus locations; visa and immigration assistance; medical leave of absence including information on financial impacts; interim suspension for the alleged respondent; and other measures for safety as necessary.

Disability Support Services (x2062): 

  • If student provided an accommodation letter at beginning of semester, and student stops going to class
  • If proctoring an exam for extended test taking accommodation and student still needs more time 
  • If you or student needs clarification about any accommodation (such as, flexibility with class attendance)
  • If the student mentions he or she has a disability and would benefit from classroom accommodations
  • If you have questions about some behavior in class which might be disability related

Academic Advising and Support (x5050, Maryland Hall Room 138):

  • Academic adjustment student concerns, especially if the student is missing class. Advising and registration support, academic success workshops.

Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies (x5547, Maryland Hall 138):

  • Academic policy and implementation concerns

Class Dean (x5547, Maryland Hall 138):

  • Other academic concerns. Medical problem or life events are interfering with academics. Seeking an extended excused absence.

Graduate Student Services (x2353):

  • Advocates for graduate students, as well as offers resources, programs, and information to enhance the graduate student experience. 
    When a student has experienced the death of a loved one:
    Whenever you meet or work with a student who is dealing with the illness of a loved one or who has experienced a recent loss, please connect them with one of the following resources:  
  • Campus Ministry (x2768, Cohn Hall, under the chapel) will reach out to students to offer both spiritual and personal support. A Campus Ministry staff member will try to meet with the student personally.  Every student will be invited to solicit prayers and alert the Loyola community about a death in their immediate family through a “We Remember” e-mail.  A Campus Ministry staff member will try to attend funeral services of student’s immediate family, if possible.
  • Academic Advising and Support (x5050, Maryland Hall 138) will notify faculty and send an e-mail to the student as appropriate. Class Deans will work to help students talk to their professors about making up missed work, and help put academic supports in place as needed.
  • Counseling Center (x2273, Humanities 150) will offer personal support and help students explore all of the ways their situation might be impacting them. When a counselor meets with the student, they will assess any other needs that they may be having and we will offer individual or group support (the Facing Loss group has proven to be very helpful to students).  A counselor can also explain how being connected to others can be an important part of functioning during difficult times.

Facilitating Supportive Conversations

Why Faculty Matter

  • Students have an ongoing relationship with faculty
  • Faculty are in a direct position to observe students and be aware of their behavior
  • Faculty serve as informal help-givers for advice and support

Creating a Space for Conversation

  • Use a relaxed but attentive posture
  • Convey a sense of welcome, acceptance, and respect - including comfortable eye contact, speak reassuringly, open body posture
  • Respect personal space
  • Be yourself

Listening Skills

  • Acknowledge concerns 
  • Paraphrase/repeat to verify accuracy – “What I am hearing you say is…”
  • Use open-ended questions to encourage sharing 
  • Resist problem-solving until student is ready 
  • Identify multiple resource areas, such as The Study, Campus Ministry, Class Dean, etc. 
  • Avoid arguing, interrupting, lecturing, offering false reassurances, fixing, challenging/confronting
  • Offer hope and encouragement
  • Encourage student to seek support at the Counseling Center

Explore Resistance to Help-seeking

  • “What has gotten in the way of you getting help?”
  • “What would keep you from talking to a counselor about these things?”
  • “Could it be worth taking this step even though it is difficult?”

Referrals to the Counseling Center

  • Consult with counselor about student of concern by phone or in person
  • Have the student call the Counseling Center while in your office
  • Walk the student over to the Counseling Center
  • Follow-up with the student 

Emergent or Crisis-related Concerns

  • Including thoughts of harming themselves or others, recent sexual assault, recent death of a loved one, inability to maintain usual functioning (e.g., attend classes, eat regular meals, attend to hygiene) due to mental health or emotional concerns
  • Call the Counseling Center and ask to speak with the Emergency Counselor 
  • Walk student over to the Counseling Center and request to have student seen by the Emergency Counselor 
  • Plan to stay to speak with a counselor prior to and/or with the student