Referring a Student for Counseling

Faculty and staff are often the first to notice a distressed student.  If you are worried about a student there are several courses of action that you can take.  Below is a guide to assist you with referring a student to the Counseling Center.

Signs of Distress

  • Decline in academic performance
  • Change in attendance
  • Unusual or disruptive behavior
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Recent loss/grief
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Reference to suicide/homicide
  • Isolation
  • Threats to others

The Role of Faculty/Staff in Referring a Student

  1. Notice the signs of distress
  2. Familiarize yourself with Counseling Center services so that you can provide accurate information
  3. Consult with Counseling Center staff (As needed)
  4. Talk to the student
    1. Express your concerns
    2. Note any behavior changes (avoid character descriptors and generalizations)
    3. Provide the Counseling Center as a resource and suggest the student make an appointment
  5. Walk student over to the Counseling Center Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 4:00 pm (As needed)
    1. If the student requires immediate assistance a staff member will speak to you and meet with the student to assess their needs
    2. Please allow the student to determine if you should wait for them during the appointment.  Some students are only comfortable with the faculty/staff escort to the office.

***Please note that student will have to complete walk-in paperwork prior to meeting with a counselor.  This is standard Counseling Center practice and all students must complete the necessary paperwork. ***

How to Schedule an Appointment

1. Call the office at 202.274.6000
2. Walk into the office located in Building 39 Suite 120
3. If students require immediate assistance they can make same day walk-in appointments Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 4:00 pm.

Counseling and Student Development Center

Main Office
Building 39, Suite 120


If you are currently experiencing a mental health emergency or are concerned about your own safety or the safety of someone else, please do not delay. Call 911 for immediate help.


Every student's sense of privacy is important to us. For adult students (over 18), we do not release personal information without written consent, except in emergency situations where information is needed to protect health and safety.