Shoreline Community College Counseling Center Guide to Consultation for Employees and Student Referral

The staff at the Counseling Center are here to provide support and consultation to campus employees, students, parents, friends, or others when there is concern about a student’s well-being.

Consultations may focus on concerns about a specific student, behavioral problems that occur in the classroom or other settings, or other issues that may have important psychological dimensions.

Some of the ways the Counseling Center may help employees and others assist students:

*Assessing the seriousness of the situation
*Suggesting potential resources
*Finding the best way to make a referral
*Scheduling an appointment for the student to meet with a counselor (if the situation constitutes a crisis, the student may be seen immediately)
*Reaching out to a student of concern

For consultation or support
, please contact Sheryl Copeland, Counselor and Interim Director, at 206-533-6712,, or the Counseling Center front desk at 206-546-4594.

Any time you perceive imminent physical danger to yourself or any other individual: call 911 (9-911 on campus) immediately AND Campus Security at 206-235-5860.

If in the classroom, you can use LYNX Emergency Alert.

When to Refer
Consider referring a student to the Counseling Center if you notice any signs or reports of the following:

*You find yourself doing what feels like counseling with a student
*Expressing thoughts of suicide, hurting self or others, self-injury
*A student seems excessively tired, anxious, depressed, irritable, angry, or sad
*You notice marked changes in a student’s appearance or habits (e.g., deterioration in grooming, hygiene, weight loss, interpersonal withdrawal, acceleration in activity or speech, or change in academic performance)
*A student seems hopeless or helpless
*A student’s use of alcohol or other substances interferes with her/his relationships or work
*A student’s thoughts or actions appear bizarre or unusual
*Sexual harassment to include domestic violence and sexual assault (Please see Title IX reporting requirements).

How to Refer
When you have determined that a student might benefit from professional counseling, it is usually best to speak to the student in a direct manner that will show your concern for their welfare. Be specific regarding the behaviors that have raised your concerns, and avoid generalizing about the individual.

Except in emergencies, the option must be left open for the student to accept or refuse counseling. If the student is skeptical or reluctant for whatever reason, simply express your acceptance of those feelings so that your own relationship with the student is not jeopardized. Give the student an opportunity to consider other alternatives by suggesting that he or she might need some time to think it over. If the student emphatically says “no,” then respect that decision, and again leave the situation open for possible reconsideration later.

If the student agrees to the referral, you or the student may call or visit the Counseling Center to make an appointment.  Students often appreciate a campus employee walking them to the Center for a warm handoff. The student’s first meeting at the Counseling Center will typically be an intake interview in which the student and the counselor make decisions about the type of help needed.

In cases where the student refuses an attempted referral and you continue to be concerned about their welfare, feel free to call the Counseling Center for a consultation.

Once a referral is made, it is normal to want to find out what happened and how you can continue to help the student. However, the staff at the Counseling Center are bound by ethics and laws to maintain confidentiality. This means:

  • We cannot give information about the student without written permission from the student.
  • We cannot say whether the student has come for an appointment; however, you can ask the student about whether they attended counseling.
  • We cannot discuss any specifics of the situation; however, if we feel the person is an imminent risk of harming themselves or others we will take the appropriate measures to provide for their safety.
  • We can answer your general questions about making referrals to the Counseling Center.
  • We can provide other referral ideas.
  • We can take information from YOU regarding specific behaviors of the student.

Here is a one-page counseling referral quick guide for your reference.

Learn more about the Shoreline Community College Counseling Center: | 206-546-4594 | FOSS 5245

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to email

Sheryl, Gwyn, Diana, and Satoko
Shoreline Community College Counselors

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