Northeastern University

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Information for Faculty and Staff

As a faculty or staff member, your expression of interest and concern may be a critical step in helping a struggling student. If you become aware that a student is having emotional, relational, or other apparent psychological problems, he or she may benefit from a counseling assessment at UHCS. It is usually best to express your concern and recommendation directly to the student and allow the student to make his or her own decision. However, if a student needs help immediately, offer to call UHCS with the student present. If you are very concerned, you may wish to call UHCS directly or walk the student over to our offices at 135 Forsyth Building.

If you become aware of any student who might be at immediate risk of harm to him/herself or others, call NUPD immediately at (617) 373-3333, or x3333 from a campus phone, and report your concern.

If you wish to call UHCS on behalf of a student who is with you at the time, dial (617) 373-2772, option “1." Identify yourself and explain to the receptionist that you are assisting a student in making an appointment. Then allow the student to speak to the receptionist to arrange an appointment time.

Consultations for Individual and Campus Support

If you are concerned about a student or situation, but are not sure how to proceed, call UHCS at (617) 373-2772, choice “1” and ask to speak with a member of the Behavioral Health staff. A counselor will return your call and help you determine an appropriate course of action. While we are unable to provide consultation on departmental behavioral or academic performance expectations, we welcome your concerns regarding a student’s safety and well-being. We are also available to the general Northeastern community to provide consultation and support for a variety of issues, such as an unexpected campus crisis.

Client confidentiality prohibits us from providing you with information about a student you have referred. It is appropriate for you to follow up directly with the student if you feel comfortable doing so.

Signs of Concern during Crisis Situations - Cause for Immediate Concern

If you become concerned about any of the situations listed below, please call UHCS immediately. State that you feel this is a crisis situation and that you need to speak with a member of the Behavioral Health staff as soon as possible. Examples of student crises may include statements such as:

  • Direct or indirect reference to suicide — "You all would be better off without me."
  • References of violence toward others — "She doesn't deserve to live anymore."
  • Gross impairment in thinking such as not making sense when talking — "The TV is putting thoughts in my brain."

If you observe a student exhibiting the following behaviors, you may wish to refer him or her to the UHCS. Always feel free to call and consult about a student.

Behavioral Markers:

  • Marked change in personal hygiene
  • Dramatic weight gain or loss
  • Frequent falling asleep in class
  • Irritability, particularly in conjunction with unruly behavior
  • Impaired speech or garbled, disjointed thoughts
  • Unusually soft or loud voice, or unusually slow or fast cadence in speech
  • Tearfulness or intense emotion out of context of the situation
  • Coming to class under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Academic Problems:

  • Sudden changes in a student’s performance, such as uncharacteristically poor work or uncharacteristic absences
  • Sudden changes or extremes in behavior, such as regular outbursts or interruptions, or threatening others

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