Faculty and staff are in constant contact with students; therefore, they are the most likely persons to encounter students who are distressed. In most cases, talking with a student should be the first level of intervention and support, and it is usually most effective when it occurs between the student and faculty/staff that he/she has an existing relationship with.
For Mild to Moderate distress with no concerns for immediate safety for a student:
- Attempt to talk with the student, preferably away from other students, and address the behavior of concern.
- Share your concern, but never offer confidentiality.
- Be clear about classroom expectations and appropriate behavior, and use the opportunity to provide corrective feedback.
- Ensure that the student is aware of campus resources.
- If warranted, make appropriate referrals to the counseling center, health Center, Disability services, etc. Please inform student that you are making a referral.
- Call for an appointment or walk them over to the Counseling Center.
- Consult with colleagues and/or department chair.
- Inform supervisor.
- Make a report to the Manhattanville At Risk Committee via Starfish Login or contact the Chair of At Risk Committee Pamela Duncan at
In the event of an emergency:
Please contact Campus Safety at x 888, if calling from on campus or (914) 323-5244, if you are calling from off campus, for emergencies such as suicide, homicide and concerns about the immediate safety and well being of a Manhattanville College student.
*Behavior that disrupts the learning and/or living environment is a violation of the Manhattanville College Code of Conduct and a report should be filed with the Dean of Students. Disruptive behavior may be the result of a student experiencing significant distress, and the behavior may be best addressed through supportive resources on campus. The college reserves the right to respond to disruptive behavior with supportive and/or judicial means based upon the details of the situation.
What happens after someone is referred?
The response is determined on a case by case basis and in consultation with the members of the Manhattanville College At Risk Committee. The information you provide will be used to determine the level of risk or concern as well as the appropriate course of action. The committee operates within a community centered philosophy of proactive intervention aimed at achieving the optimal balance between support and safety.
At Risk Committee interventions may include:
- Talking to the subject of the report to hear his / her side of the story. In many cases, simple engagement with the individual can facilitate movement away from crisis and reduce risk of additional problems.
- Monitoring the situation, either with an active monitoring plan or simply waiting to see if other behavior of concern emerges and requires action.
- Making recommendations to appropriate college personnel that may include, but are not limited to the actions or sanctions consistent with the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, and Staff Handbook. These may include: interim suspension, suspension or expulsion; parental/guardian notification; medical/psychological withdrawal; student conduct response; human resources response; referral to support services, such as counseling, academic services, disability services, employee assistance program.
- Making recommendations to appropriate college personnel regarding conditions to consider in order for an individual to possibly return as an active member of the campus community. These recommendations may also include that the student receive internal or external psychological evaluations and / or evaluations by other specialists.
How to make a referral for Counseling
- Assume a gentle, caring, and non-judgmental attitude.
- Tell the student why you are concerned and then suggest a visit to the counseling center (G-29 Founders Hall). For example: "I have noticed you have been missing a lot of classes, you seem very distracted when you are here, and I am concerned. Have you thought about talking to a counselor?".
- Expect some resistance and be prepared to explain that "normal people" go to counseling and that it is just one of the many resources available on campus for students.
- Educate them about how counseling is often used to help students learn more about themselves and you don’t have to have a significant problem to talk to benefit from talking with a clinician.
- Have them call the Counseling Center x5155 from your office or walk them over (G-29 Founders Hall) if they are comfortable.
- Most students who have never seen a counselor will display some level of ambivalence, so don’t give up at the first hint of hesitation. If the student is not interested, please follow up with the student in a few days to touch base and see if his / her feelings have changed.
- Please feel free to inform students that the Counseling Center can provide off campus referrals as well as on campus care.