- Kognito At-Risk Training: Create a new account and use enrollment key montclair973
- Did you know nearly 40% of college students have symptoms of depression that impact their academic performance?
- This At-Risk Training will help you build the confidence to talk with a student who you are concerned about.
- When is a student in need of a referral to CAPS?
- A referral for psychological counseling should be considered when you believe a student’s problems go beyond your own experience and expertise or when you feel a student is struggling with an issue that could benefit from additional support. A referral may be made either of the way the student’s problems are interfering with his or her academic work or with your teaching, or because the student’s behavior raises concern beyond his or her academic work.
- Faculty and staff members are in a unique position to identify students who may need counseling. Because of your frequent contact with students, you are able to observe changes in their behavior that may indicate emotional distress. If you have concerns about a student, please do not ignore them. Your sense that something is wrong may be an important warning It is better to err on the side of caution in order to prevent further escalation of difficulties. Although you will not provide counseling, you can and make a referral, or call us to consult with a staff member.
- How do I make a referral?
- Referrals can be made directly to CAPS in Russ Hall or to Let’s Talk drop-in, one-on-one consultation hours hosted at specific times campus.
- One way to introduce the topic of counseling to a student is to summarize what you see as the content of the problem. Be direct, specific and non-judgmental. For example, say something like, “I’ve noticed that you’re falling asleep in class and I’m concerned,” rather than “Why are you constantly asleep in my class?” You can then refer the student to Let’s Talk so they don’t have to deal with a potential problem alone.
- Sometimes people are resistant to because of stereotypes that counseling is for “crazy people,” the belief that they should be able to handle things on their own, or fears about what counseling might be like. Explain to the student that everyone needs help dealing with problems from time to time and that counseling can provide a sensitive and caring person who will listen to concerns and help identify ways to cope more effectively. Inform the student that he or she can go to CAPS or Let’s Talk for a consultation to determine if they feel comfortable and if short-term counseling might help.
- If, despite your best efforts, a student refuses counseling, it is best to leave the subject alone. Provide the student with a brochure and information they may utilize when they are ready. Coercing a student into counseling is not likely to have a positive result, although it may be useful for the purposes of getting the student in for an initial evaluation under extreme circumstances. Generally, unless there is some immediate concern about the safety of the student or others, it is better to try to maintain your relationship with the student rather than to force him or her to go to CAPS.
- What happens after a referral is made?
Once a student calls or walks into CAPS, an appointment is made the same or next day for a telephone screening. The screening is approximately 15-20 minutes with a CAPS staff member who determines options for best helping the student. This screening can be done in person if the student attends a Let’s Talk session. After this initial point of contact, an initial interview will usually be held within a few days, depending on the urgency of the situation and the flexibility of the student’s schedule. The initial interview is intended to learn more about what is troubling the student and to assess what services would be most helpful. If it is determined that the student’s needs would be better met by an off-campus facility or private practitioner, a referral for off-campus services will be made. If short-term counseling at CAPS is appropriate, regular appointments will be scheduled, usually for 45 minutes once a week. At busier times of the year, it may be a week or two before regular appointments begin, but students are encouraged to utilize Let’s Talk for support as often as they like in the meantime.
- Who provides services and what is offered?
CAPS is staffed by psychologists, a social worker, a part-time psychiatrist and selected graduate students who work under close supervision. The services are included in the Student Services Fee and are provided with no additional out-of-pocket expense. Confidentiality is maintained in accordance with ethical standards and New Jersey state law. No information, including whether a student has made an appointment, can be shared with anyone without the written consent of the student utilizing services. View Services
- What if it’s an emergency?
If the student is in crisis, immediate attention is warranted. Call CAPS at 973-655-5211 during business hours and tell the receptionist that you have an emergency. The student will be seen as soon as possible. If CAPS is closed, call University Police at 973-655-5222 and they will contact the on-call psychologist. If a student talks or writes about suicide, this should be taken seriously. Suicide is often considered as an option when a student feels depressed, hopeless, trapped or out-of-control. Making an assumption that talk of suicide is aimed at getting attention can be a potentially fatal mistake.
- Crisis situations include:
- The student is in significant distress and appears unable to care for themselves.
- The student expresses though about suicide and/or has a plan to harm themselves or someone else.
- The student is displaying psychotic symptoms such as appearing confused or agitated, hearing voices, expressing unintelligible speech and/or bizarre, paranoid or clearly false beliefs about something.
- The Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
The college years can be a time of both excitement and stress for students and their parents. Students face numerous challenges while at college, such as choosing and preparing for a career path, developing peer and romantic relationships, and learning about their own unique values and identities. Sometimes these challenges can lead to difficulties.
Problems that students sometimes experience while in college include difficulties with depression, anxiety, stress management, substance abuse, eating/body image issues, or relationship concerns. Learning or attention-related problems also occasionally arise during the college years. If these problems are not addressed, they may result in emotional, academic, or social difficulties for the student. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can often help students resolve their concerns so they can feel better and get “back on track” with their academic work.
Often, parents are among the first people to notice when their student is experiencing difficulties. If this happens, parents are encouraged to contact Counseling and Psychological Services to discuss strategies for helping their student. Such strategies may include encouraging the student to take advantage of on-campus resources such as CAPS.
- Offer Supportive Feedback
In a supportive manner, let your student know the reasons you are concerned. Be sure to be specific about what you have observed.
- Normalize the Student’s Experience
It is not unusual for students to have their first encounter with depression or anxiety during this time of transition and life changes. In addition, sometimes students who have struggled with these issues before have a return of symptoms. It may help your student know that because college can be stressful, many students experience some temporary depression or anxiety while in college.
- Clarify Expectations and Roles
College is a time when students and their parents experience changes in their roles and expectations for each other. In most cases, students benefit when parents and students clarify their expectations as well as the consequences of not meeting these expectations.
- Encourage the Student to Meet with a Counselor
It might help your student to know that they may come to CAPS for one session to see whether or not counseling is the right solution for them. In other words, coming to CAPS for a consultation meeting does not obligate the student to continue in counseling. Our staff are interested in helping students determine what interventions might work best for them. Sometimes counseling is a good strategy; at other times, non-counseling strategies are more helpful. Reluctant students might be more open to the idea of coming to one of our informal drop-in sites. We have Let’s Talk hours at various times and locations around campus.
All CAPS services are confidential. Although we understand parents’ interest in knowing what is going on with their student, we are unable to disclose information without the student’s written consent.
- MSU Cares – Suicide Prevention
- National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- NJ Hopeline: 855-654-6735
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1
- Call, Veterans Crisis Line Chat Online or Send a Text Message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24/7.
- Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.
- The Trevor Lifeline (for LGBTQ individuals): 1-866-488-7386
- Southwest Behavioral Health Suicide Prevention Line: 812-422-1100
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Crisis Text Line 24/7 support for those in crisis.
Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.