Over the past several years, college counseling centers across the U.S. have experienced striking increases in the number of students seeking treatment for psychological problems as well as amplification of symptom severity manifested by these students. Clark University is no exception. Utilization of our services at the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth (CPG) has increased by approximately 58.5% in the past 5 years. Several Clark students are hospitalized annually for psychiatric conditions, while others require psychiatrically–related medical leaves. Suicidal ideation and self-injurious behaviors are common here and on campuses nationwide. In a recent survey of college counseling centers, 80 of 274 (30%) of schools that responded experienced at least one student suicide in a one-year period. Despite increased utilization of psychological services, many students in distress neither seek nor receive treatment.
In the face of these national patterns and day-to-day experiences with troubled students, many faculty and staff members have expressed concern and requested information to assist them in identifying problems and helping students locate professional support. At Clark University, by virtue of our small size and academic values, we have committed ourselves to support students in their growth as total human beings. This document is designed to assist faculty and staff to recognize typical signs exhibited by students in distress, to communicate effectively with such students, and to refer them to appropriate campus resources.
In case of emergency, where you feel uneasy about letting a student leave your office, you may call the Dean of Students office (508-793-7423) to let them know about your immediate concerns. If you are concerned about a student, however do not feel that they are in immanent danger, you can fill out Student Concern Alert Form/CARE Form on the Clarku portal and that will alert Student Affairs staff of your concerns. In cases that involve urgency, CPG has “urgent” hours in the afternoons. If you have referred a student who is in crisis, we appreciate your calling (508-793-7678) or emailing us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know about your concerns.
After Hours Coverage
If you are confronted with an emergency situation outside of regular office hours (Monday — Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm) or on weekends, you can call Clark University Police at 508-793-7575. University Police will contact the on–call staff to let them know about the situation.
Getting Support and Professional Consultation
In addition to direct services to students, we offer consultation services to faculty and staff who have concerns about a student but feel uncertain about whether to act on their intuitions. You may arrange a consult, by calling our general phone number (508-793-7678) or email us (email@example.com) that you would like to talk with a counselor about a student. If you indicate that this is an emergency, a counselor will return your call as soon as possible. If it is not an emergency, we will get back to you as soon as we can. Situations involving student psychological issues can be complex and confusing. When in doubt, call!