Presented by: Cory Wallack, Ph.D., Counseling Center Sarah T. Solomon, M.S., Student Assistance. Division of Student Affairs

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1 Presented by: Cory Wallack, Ph.D., Counseling Center Sarah T. Solomon, M.S., Student Assistance Division of Student Affairs

2 Trends in college mental health Overview of Counseling Center services Overview of Student Assistance services Identifying and connecting with the Distressed Student Making a referral

3 Students are reporting more significant mental health concerns High prevalence rates of alcohol/drug abuse Increasing rates of prescription drug abuse Impact of Virginia Tech and recent incident in Colorado Those students who are most in need are frequently unknown to campus mental health service providers Responsibility needs to shift from Counseling Center to the whole campus community Need for a caring and connected campus

4 Overwhelming demands Connected-Disconnected generation Poor coping skills Lack of distress tolerance Impact of global events Lack of experience/comfort as to when and how to use to use available support services

5 Individual & group counseling Alcohol & other drug counseling 24- hour crisis intervention Consultation to parents, faculty, staff & students Referrals to mental health services Outreach/training to SU/ESF community Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

6 The Office of Student Assistance serves as a central helping resource for all students. The staff works to address the needs of students who struggle in such areas as psychological health, physical health, victimization, relationship issues, eating/body issues, and social adjustment through a variety of interventions, referrals, and case management services.

7 Case management Referral to on and off campus resources Medical leave of absence/readmission Absence notification Student advocacy and support Consultation for faculty/staff

8 Crisis is a natural part of life! Thoughts Feelings Behaviors Helpful Responses Unhelpful Responses

9 Academic Problems Poor attendance, uncharacteristically poor performance Behavioral Markers Appear tired/angry/sad Appear under the influence of substances Unusual comments or behaviors Interpersonal Markers Excessive/inappropriate dependency on staff/professors Avoidance Inappropriate comments

10 Listen and connect Look for warning signs Be prepared to discuss specific concerns/statements Consult with Counseling Center and Office of Student Assistance as needed Refer for assistance and/or assessment In some cases, immediate action is warranted

11 Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal individuals desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems. Most suicidal individuals give definite warnings of their suicidal intentions, but others are either unaware of the significance of these warnings or do not know how to respond to them. Asking if someone is thinking about suicide does not increase the risk Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social, and ethnic boundaries

12 Homicidality Students who are indicating thoughts about causing the death of another/others Psychosis Students who have a gross impairment in their reality perception

13 First, ensure safety for yourself and the student. Intervene. Take him/her seriously. If you are concerned the student needs medical intervention call Public Safety immediately at (711 on campus). If you are concerned about a threat to someone else, contact Public Safety immediately at (711 on campus). If you are concerned about suicidal thoughts or comments, call the Counseling Center at Unless safety is compromised, please stay with the student until the student gets assistance.

14 REFER: When you are doing more counseling than advising The problems or requests made are outside the scope of your role with the student When you feel that the issue with which the student is dealing could benefit from working with a mental health professional CONSULT: Anytime you are not sure how to handle a situation or approach a student The student keeps coming back and has not followed through with your referral

15 Be helpful and supportive Express your concerns directly to the student Encourage the student to call and make his or her own appointment In crisis situations walk the student to the appropriate office or call to consult while with the student Instill hope that help is available and effective Don t avoid the situation, promise privacy, or offer more help then you are able to provide

16 Check in with the student after the situation and ask how the student is doing. Ask the student if he/she followed through with the referral. Continue to expect the student to fulfill class requirements unless there are extenuating circumstances that prevent him/her from doing so (e.g., hospitalization).

17 When supporting a distressed student: Notice Connect Communicate Be familiar with emergency services before an urgent situation arises: Counseling Center services Public Safety Emergency medical services Office of Student Assistance

18 Unanswered questions or unresolved concerns?

19 Syracuse University Counseling Center 200 Walnut Place Syracuse University Office of Student Assistance 306 Steele Hall

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