As a faculty member students may disclose concerns to you in advising and class meetings that necessitate a referral to our counseling center. These concerns may include anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance or stress. Learn more about the common issues our students face.
You may refer a student to counseling if you notice a major change in previous baseline (not showing up to class when they hadn't missed before or not turning in work when previously an earnest student, etc.), or a student expressing any of the concerns referenced above. For more information on how to talk to a student in distress and understanding warning signs, we recommend this short read from the JED Foundation.
Each year, Rensselaer students participate in the National College Health Assessment (NCHA). Based on the most recent survey response, of Rensselaer students, 45% report greater than average, or very high levels of stress during the academic year.
Students respect you and your opinion as a faculty. Telling them that there are people in counseling who can help them with their problems and encouraging them to take advantage of those resources respects their autonomy while also helping them see an adult is concerned for them. You can also share with them how to make appointments which may remove barriers. In all cases, connecting with the student's Class Dean can be helpful to make them aware, particularly if they aren't quite ready to commit to counseling. The Class Dean often serves as a conduit to resources like counseling. If a student is in crisis, i.e. making statements of harm to themselves or the community, either in person or in writing via email or on an exam, please contact public safety immediately.
How students can access counseling
Counseling Services (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.)
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, during the academic year. (closed 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. for lunch)
Counseling Services are available for students who need support via telehealth. Students can call (518) 276-8888 for immediate assistance and schedule up to 5 follow up sessions via telehealth.
Drop in counseling is available multiple days per week at locations across campus. No appointment is needed. Check the Counseling Center website for updated days and times.
Resources for Further Reading
Selected Readings from our Counseling Center and Staff
- The Role of Faculty in Mental Health, Boston University School of Public Health.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education: How to Help a Student in a Mental-Health Crisis
- Inside Higher Ed: A Friend at the Front of the Room
- College Students in Distress: A Resource Guide for Faculty, Staff, and Campus Community | Read a review of this book.