Responding to a Student in Difficulty

Once a student has come to your attention as a concern, here are suggestions for responding:Engle educators responding image

  • Talk in private when you and the student have time and are not preoccupied.
  • Be frank about your concerns, sharing what you observe without judging, using specific examples of what you are seeing and why it concerns you.
  • Do not be judgmental, (for example, say “I notice you have been missing class, is everything alright?” rather than saying “Why are you never in class?”)
  • Be clear about the limits of your ability to help. It is not necessarily your role or responsibility to counsel students, but you can help them get the support they need.
  • Suggest that a student seek help instead of telling or ordering them to.  Inform the student of our counseling services and tell them that students visit the Engle Center for a variety of reasons. Reinforce that counseling sessions at the Engle Center are totally confidential and information will not be shared with parents professors or college administration. Counseling does not impact or influence academic records and counseling sessions are free to full-time students.
  • If a student is receptive to seeing a counselor provide him/her with our phone number, offer them access to your phone so they can make an appointment, or accompany them to Counseling Services.
  • If a student is reluctant to seek help at the Engle Center, suggest that they use FalconCare telehealth services.


Helpful things to say when referring a student for counseling:
“Sounds like you are really struggling with________.”
“Many people find it helpful to talk with someone in confidence who is outside of the situation.”

‘That’s really a lot to deal with, talking it over with someone else might help you sort through it all.”

“I want to help you get the help you need and deserve.”
“Give counseling a try.  You have nothing to lose.”
“Meeting with a counselor is confidential and will not go on your academic record.”