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Referring a Student


If you have specific questions about a student, or are unsure about whether or how to approach this individual to make a referral, call the Counseling Center at 508.999.8648 or 8650, indicate that you are concerned about a student, and ask to speak to an available counselor. A counselor on urgent care duty will either be available or will call you back as soon as possible.

The urgent care counselor can help you:

  1. Assess the seriousness of the situation
  2. Identify potential resources, both on and off campus, so that you can provide the student with a number of options for obtaining assistance
  3. Discuss how best to initiate the referral process
  4. Clarify your own feelings regarding the student and consider how you can be most effective

Making a Referral 

When you have determined that a referral to the Counseling Center is appropriate, you can be most helpful by clearly and concisely telling the student why you think counseling would be helpful. You might also tell the student a few facts about our services. For instance, all services are free to regularly enrolled students, and professional counselors and psychologists provide counseling during business hours. All discussions are confidential except when the student presents a danger to self, others, or when certain kinds of abuse are involved.

Early intervention is preferable to crisis intervention. To ensure prompt attention, it is best to call in advance for an appointment. Having the student make the call increases their responsibility and commitment to come for counseling; however, there may be times, especially if the student is in crisis, when it is advantageous for you to call and make the appointment and/or accompany the student to our office. We will schedule the student with one of our staff as quickly as possible.

Non-Crisis Referrals

  • Encourage students to contact Counseling Services directly to schedule an intake appointment by calling 508.999.8648 or 8650.
  • Offer to let the student call from your office or offer to walk over with the student if you believe he or she needs the extra support.
  • Use the Counseling Center's on-line Student FAQs to provide answers for the student regarding the Center's services.

Crisis Referrals

  • If a student is in crisis during the Counseling Center's business hours (Mon & Tues 9am - 5pm and Wed - Fri 8am - 4pm) call the Center at 508.999.8648 or 8650 and ask to speak to the urgent care counselor
  • Provide the urgent care counselor with a description of the situation
  • The urgent care counselor will help you with deciding what actions to take, be it walking the student over to the Center for an urgent-care appointment, arranging a same-day appointment or calling UMassD Police Department [please note, during the pandemic, all services are being provided remotely]
  • If the crisis occurs outside of the Counseling Center's business hours call 508.999.8648 or 8650. A recorded voice message will offer options
  • If the student or another person is in imminent danger, or is out of control, call UMassD Police Department at (508)999-9191

How to Follow-Up After a Referral 

Once a referral has been initiated, it is reasonable and prudent to follow up with the student. Depending on the nature of your relationship with the student, you may also find yourself wondering, “How is it going?” If this is done in a non-intrusive way, such a question may be well received. The student's right to privacy, however, should always be respected. If you wish to give us information about a student you referred, you may do so, and we treat this information as confidential. Be aware that Counseling Services works within ethical limits of confidentiality and we cannot give information about the student or specifics about the situation without written permission.

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