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Counseling For Staff/Faculty

Counseling Services also serve as a resource to faculty and staff. We can assist in the following capacity:

  • Present in classes or student organizations
  • Offer consultation
  • Provide information on mental health concerns
  • Provide referral information to local mental health professionals

Our office only provides counseling to students. Faculty/staff should utilize community resources for their personal needs.

The difference between students in Crisis or Experiencing Stress:

Stress: Everyone experiences stress. However, some students have an increased level of stress that could cause concern.

  • Unusual changes in academic performance
  • Unusual changes in behavior or attitude
  • Withdrawing
  • Falling asleep in class frequently
  • Hyperactivity
  • Interfering with class productivity

Crisis: A crisis situation is when an individual no longer can cope with stressors.

  • Suicidal attempts or statements
  • Verbal threats
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Hostility, Aggression or Violence
  • Destruction of property
  • Losing contact with reality (hallucinations, delusions)

How can you help?

  1. Speak to the student in private
  2. Be direct and nonjudgmental
  3. Listen
  4. Refer
  5. Follow Up

Guidelines For Talking to a Student Experiencing Distress

  • Acknowledge, validate, and respect what is said.
  • Allow the student to speak freely about their current situation.
    • Example: “I noticed you seemed upset in class today, and wanted to check in. You mentioned you’ve been having a hard time. How are you doing?”
  • If the student is overwhelmed, consider suggesting that both you and the student take a few slow, deep breaths together.
  • Talk to the student in private when both of you have time and are not rushed.
  • Try to focus on an aspect of the problem that is manageable.
  • Try to use specific, nonjudgmental terms that reflect your concern for the well being of the student.
    • Example: “I’m sorry to hear that, I want you to know that I listening and want to help you get support.”
  • Avoid overpromising or general answers such as:
    • "Everything will be all right."
    • “I totally understand.”
    • “Try not to worry too much, it’s not that big of a deal.”
  • Help the person recall constructive methods used in the past to cope; try to encourage the student toward agreeing to doing something constructive to better their current situation.
  • Trust your insight and reactions.
  • Let others know your concerns. Consult with a colleague, department head, or student services.
  • Do not swear secrecy or offer confidentiality to the person.
  • Try to get a sense of the student’s current support system and remind them of those people.
    • Example: “Thank you for sharing this with me. These are really important things to talk about, and I’m wondering who comes to mind if there is anyone you have shared this with or would feel comfortable discussing this with as well?
  • Encourage the student to consider utilizing further sources of support in their life (e.g., a friend, family member, or professional).
    • Example: “Thank you for sharing this with me. There are many resources available on campus. The Mental Health Counseling Office offers brief therapy focused on student mental health and wellbeing. Here is their information.”
  • Respect the student's value system, even if you don't agree.

For providing support to a student in severe distress:

  • Remain calm and know whom to call for help, if necessary.
    • When a student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, call campus police at 979-277-7373.
    • For other mental health consultations, please call the Mental Health Counseling Office.
  • Calls can be made with the student in your presence or within sight, however, if needed you can look for someone to stay with the student while calls to the appropriate resources are made.
  • Remember, ensuring other people's wellbeing is not your responsibility. You can only do as much as you can control, and these situations may feel very difficult. You need only to make the necessary call and provide resources.
  • Your professional role impacts your interactions with students and your ability to address their concerns, whether you are a faculty or staff member. Reflecting on your own experiences and how your background and multiple social identities affect interactions with students can be helpful. Acknowledge your role in student interactions and reflect on how it may impact your relationship with the student and your ability to help.

Student Suggestions on How Faculty can Support Mental Health

Faculty and staff have an important role when it comes to supporting student mental health on campus. Faculty are often seen as mentors, allies, and guides through a student's academic career and beyond. For these reasons, it can be important for faculty to know campus resources and engage in our community of caring with regards to mental health.

  • One: Include helpful student resources in your syllabus.
  • Two: Know that many students may have never had to ask for help before coming to college.
  • Three: Some students may be getting used to the U.S. educational system.
  • Four: Be aware of college student development and stages.
  • Five: Midterms and finals can be stressful.
  • Six: Learn about The Mental Health Counseling Office as a resource.
  • Seven: Encourage students to use self-help apps.

Faculty and Staff Guide for Common Situations

Students at Blinn College District may experience a wide range of mental health issues during the course of their academic experience. As faculty members or staff members in academic departments, you may encounter students who need mental health support. Your role can be a positive and crucial one in identifying students who are in distress and assisting them to find the resources available to them.

Often, you as a staff or faculty person will be one of the first persons to find out that a student is having personal problems that are interfering with their academic success or daily lives. The student may come to you for academic advising, or visit during office hours, send you an email, etc. and in this process share personal concerns with you.

Our goal is to offer commons scenarios that frequently happen and to suggest ways to address these situations - by so doing, we are ultimately providing a web of support by helping students get the mental health support needed.

Blinn is committed to the academic success, personal development and general health of all students. Some students with mental health issues may request reasonable accommodations through The Office of Disability Services. Compliance with these requests is required by federal law, state law and College Policy.

Do not swear secrecy or offer confidentiality to the student. Try to focus on an aspect of the problem that is manageable. Avoid easy answers such as, "Everything will be all right." Be accepting and respectful to what is said. Trust your insight and let others know your concerns. Encourage the person to seek help.

If the student is willing, schedule a meeting. Let the meeting be a conversation to engage with the student. Ask them gently about their attendance in class. If the student wants to seek help, refer them to the counseling office.

Contact campus police (if immediate danger) at 979-277-7373. MHMR provides a 24/7 helpline at 888-522-8262 or the 24/7 Crisis Text Line (Text HOME or START to 741-741).

Identify the hesitation. Dispute the myth that only "weak or crazy" people go to counseling. Remind them counseling services on campus are free and confidential. Be assured that you have done your best to give support and provide resources if they decline.

If you are concerned the student may be feeling hopeless and thinking about ending their life, ask if she/he is contemplating suicide. Asking about suicide doesn't lead the student to think/do more about it. It is important to remember that talking about suicide is a warning sign that needs to be followed up. Contact campus police or 911 immediately for a welfare check. Law enforcement can assist with transportation.

Consult with your department administration to determine the next step.

Letting someone else know within your department may be a good idea. Someone else can provide advice oh to approach the situation with your student.

Promote Mental Health Awareness in your classroom

Around midterms or finals, remind students of the resources that are available to them.

Encourage students to inform their friends or others about available mental health support resources

Put a sentence or two in your syllabus to reflect your approach to supporting students' mental health. Include contact information for the resources available to students.

In addition, please include a statement in writing on all syllabus materials consistent with information about Disability Services. We recommend the following statement:

"If you think you need an accommodation for a disability, please let me know at your earliest convenience. Some aspects of this course, the assignments, the in-class activities, and the way I teach may be accommodated to facilitate your participation and progress. As soon as you make me aware of your needs, we can work with the Office of Disabilities Services to determine appropriate accommodations. I will treat any information you provide as private and confidential."

Along with the statement on syllabus materials, also make the following in-class statement: "Any student who believes that he/she has a disability and may need an accommodation for this course, please contact the Office of Disability Services.

This approach indicates the willingness of the faculty member to provide assistance and also preserves students' privacy.


Students can request mental health counseling services be completing the online intake packet under Mental Health Counseling Appointments for their respective campus.