How to Help Guide for Faculty and Staff
Are you a faculty or staff member concerned for a student?
Below is a brief guide for how you can help connect students to support and other resources.
Point Park University Network of Support
Point Park University has several different departments and programs designed to help students maintain well-being and find support in times of challenge. This network is housed in departments throughout the university, including The Center for Student Success; Residential and Commuter Resources; Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership; Student Health Center; Campus Police; and the University Counseling Center. We ask you to be informed of the network of support and join us in helping students learn how to advocate for their needs and take initiative to seek help when needed - an important life skill.
Consultation With the University Counseling Center
During your tenure at PPU you may encounter a student who is going through a tough time or experiencing some kind of distress. The University Counseling Center offers consultation services for staff, faculty, advisors, or administrators. Consultation can address such issues as campus and community services, referring a student to services, and intervening with a student in distress.
What to Do
Your expression of concern may provide students the motivation they need to seek appropriate help or services. The UCC is available for consultation with faculty and staff if you are concerned about a student, unsure of an appropriate intervention, or need help in locating the appropriate resources.
Here is a list of suggestions on how to respond to a student:
- Approach the student in a private setting, such as your office.
- Include a description of the problem behavior you are observing and the specific consequences you see.
- Remind the student that you are doing this out of genuine concern for him/her.
- Remain calm and approach the student with a caring and supportive tone.
- Listen carefully and encourage the student’s efforts to ask for help.
- Help the student develop an action plan that addresses the problem.
- Consider cultural differences that may be impacting the articulation of the issue, their expectations, and external pressures.
Staff and faculty may contact the Office of Student Life (412-392-8026) so that the appropriate Student Life professionals can get involved to assist both you and the student.
Making the Referral
Consider connecting the student with the Office of Student Success by calling 412-392-8153 or submitting an Early Alert through Student Intervention via PointWeb: https://pointweb.pointpark.edu. Staff in this office are well-positioned to help students navigate the support network at PPU and assist with connecting them to appropriate support services.”
For most students who might benefit from talking with someone at the University Counseling Center, you can simply give them the UCC number or direct them to the 5th floor of Lawrence Hall. If you are concerned about their motivation to follow through or you would like to share your concerns with the therapist, it may be helpful to call ahead to speak with the therapist and consider walking them over.
If a student is in need of immediate support, your best option is to call: 2222 from any campus phone or 412-392-3960. This will connect you with Campus Safety Dispatch, who can help you determine whether the Student Life Administrator On Duty (AOD) and/or Campus Police should be involved. The AOD can help students connect with needed supports in the moment.
If you feel that a student is in a non-life threatening psychological crisis, you can call the UCC during business hours (412-392-3977) or encourage the student to call themselves. The UCC receptionist will take some initial information and route the call appropriately. If you call, we will likely attempt to talk with the student directly, if possible, and we will schedule a meeting with the student within an appropriate time frame. If you feel comfortable, you can walk them to the UCC during business hours if they are willing. If so, please call ahead to let us know you are coming.
The counseling center is not equipped to provide “walk-in services,” but we are able to provide risk assessment and triage support during business hours. If the UCC is unavailable and immediate support is desired, students are encouraged to contact Resolve Crisis Network at 1-888-796-8226 (toll free).
Please be aware that we are bound by law to protect confidentiality of anyone receiving our services. We do not share any personal information unless a student has signed a consent form or information is needed to protect safety. If you would like to talk to someone at the UCC regarding your student’s well-being, ask your student to consider signing a Release of Information form (ROI).
If a student does not sign an ROI, you may still call the UCC to share your concerns. We welcome information that might help a student when there are urgent psychological or emotional concerns. The therapist can listen to your concerns and consult about general issues that do not pertain to your student directly. Note, however, that the therapist will not be able to acknowledge that your student is engaged in services at the UCC nor provide you with any personal information.
We encourage you to follow up with the student after you have made a referral. Ideally, the student will talk with you directly to let you know how they are doing after the referral.