Faculty & Staff Information
The Counseling Center provides presentations to classes, student organizations, residence life and faculty/staff. A list of commonly requested presentations is outlined below. Most of these topics can be modified and personalized to fit the needs of your classes and organizations. We ask for as much advance notice as possible in order to meet your presentation needs while also managing our top priority of providing quality counseling services to students and employees.
Common Presentation Topics:
- Stress Management
- Career Decision Making
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator
- Study Skills
- Test Taking Skills
- Time Management
- Test Anxiety
- Math Anxiety
- Public Speaking Anxiety
- Money Management
- Managing Emotionally Distressed Students/Employees
- Counseling Center Services
- Interpersonal Violence Education
- Other topics can be arranged by request
In addition to providing workshop style presentations, Counseling Center staff are available to provide training to staff and faculty on a variety of mental health related issues, as needed. As you see in the list above, we provide training on how to respond to distressed or disruptive students, as well. In the event of a death or other traumatic event that impacts a class, student group or campus department, we are available to provide assistance.
The Counseling Center provides free personal (psychotherapy), academic, and career counseling to currently enrolled students. Our individual counseling services are designed for clients who will benefit from a brief, time-limited counseling model. The Center provides up to 12 individual counseling sessions during a 12 month period. If long-term therapy or other specialized services such as hospitalization or medication are indicated, the client will be referred to an appropriate off campus resource. Click here for more information about counseling appointments.
All client discussions are held strictly confidential except when the client is under 18 years of age, presents a danger to self or others (including situations in which abuse must be reported) or if information must be released due to a court order. Counseling referrals may only be acknowledged if the client gives the counselor permission to reveal to the referring person that he/she has attended counseling. All other releases of information occur only if the client signs a release form. This includes revealing information about whether or not a student is currently a counseling client, if he/she is attending regularly scheduled counseling appointments or the status of his/her progress as a counseling client. Click here to view the Center's full confidentiality policy.
Click here to download a quick reference document with information about Counseling Center referrals and consultations and dealing with distressed students/employees.
Counseling staff are available to provide phone or in-person consultations with faculty and staff members. If you are unsure of how to handle a situation, please call the Center and inform the receptionist who you are (i.e., faculty, staff, administrator) and ask to speak to a counselor. If all counselors are engaged at the time of your call, your phone call will be returned as soon as possible. A brief consultation with a counselor may help you sort out the relevant issues and explore alternative approaches to use with the student or employee. Conveying your concern and willingness to help in any way you can (including a referral) is probably the most important thing you can do to assist a student/fellow employee in distress. Your support, encouragement, and reassurance are very valuable. Disruptive classroom behavior is prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct. The Counseling Center will be happy to consult with you about these cases. However, behavioral problems need to be referred to the Dean of Students Office.
When you discuss a referral to the Counseling Center, it would be helpful for the student to hear in a clear and concise manner your concerns and why you think counseling would be helpful. Having the student call for an appointment tends to increase her/his responsibility and commitment to follow up by keeping the appointment. HOWEVER, there may be some situations when it is more advantageous for you to call and make an appointment for her/him or even to accompany the student to our office. (Please refer below for tips on how to talk to students/employees about your concerns.)
POSSIBLE EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
Urgent concerns that require immediate intervention might include: suicide, fear of losing control and possibly hurting someone else, sexual/physical assault or other abuse, a recent death of a loved one or students making threats or exhibiting violent behavior.
If a student is making threats:
- Take the situation seriously.
- Prioritize your safety and that of others.
- Avoid speaking privately if you feel unsafe. Consider leaving your office door open and notify someone nearby of your situation. You may consider having another faculty or staff member present for the conversation.
- Speak calmly, allowing the person a chance to verbalize concerns, where you can acknowledge the person's distress or frustration.
- Withdraw, and clear others away, if direct threats are made or if behavior escalates to aggression.
If an emergency includes an imminent threat, Public Safety should be contacted immediately. If Public Safety determines the Counseling Center or Dean of Students Office needs to be involved, Public Safety will make that contact.
EMERGENCY COUNSELING REFERRALS
If the matter is not a public safety issue, contact the Counseling Center and inform the receptionist that you are dealing with an emergency situation and need to speak with a counselor immediately. Counseling staff will advise you of how to proceed. If the situation is determined to be a viable mental health emergency, the person will likely need to be seen by a counselor immediately, where it may be helpful for you to escort the student over to the Counseling Center (assuming you feel comfortable doing so). Please note that some counseling concerns may require that the student be referred off campus for crisis stabilization, hospitalization or other specialized treatment not available on campus. If this occurs, the Counseling staff will work with the client to establish an appropriate off campus referral.
RECOGNIZING POSSIBLE WARNING SIGNS
Crisis situations where students show unrestrained emotion, aggression or bizarre behavior or self- report severe problems such as suicidal feelings or disturbed thinking are usually not common. It is more likely that faculty or staff may become aware of warning signs that indicate a need for intervention. These signs are not necessarily urgent but may be used as guidelines to help you determine whether or not to intervene.
Changes in academic/job performance or obvious under-performance
- Changes in physical appearance or behavior
- Inadequate grooming or hygiene
- Inappropriate social conduct
- Poor attention/concentration or increased disorganization
- Social withdrawal or disinterest
- Increased absences/tardiness or erratic participation
- Reports of stressful events (i.e. relationship problems, death of loved one, trauma, etc.)
- Repeated requests for extensions or other special considerations
- Increasing dependency on you
- Coming to class intoxicated or 'high'
- Talking/writing about death/suicide/violence, which is out of the ordinary for that person
- Sleeping or eating disturbances
HOW TO TALK TO STUDENTS ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS (NON-EMERGENCY)
SPEAK PRIVATELY . This may help minimize embarrassment and defensiveness.
BE HONEST . Be frank about your concerns, sharing what you have observed without judging.
BE CLEAR ABOUT LIMITS. Clearly communicate the limits of your ability to help. It is not your role or responsibility to counsel students, but you can help them find the support they need.
SUGGEST THE COUNSELING CENTER . Examples: "Sounds like you are really struggling with _____." (Many people find it helpful to speak in confidence with a neutral, third party person.) "I want to help you get the help you need and deserve. We have a Counseling Center on campus where students/employees go for all kinds of reasons." "Meeting with a counselor is free and confidential and will not go on your academic (employment) records."
CONSIDER MAKING A REFERRAL . Suggest a student/employee seek help instead of telling him/her or ordering him/her to attend. If he/she is receptive to seeing a counselor, consider providing him/her with the Counseling Center's phone number or allowing access to your phone to make the call. Walking a student/employee over to the Counseling Center or calling for him/her may also be helpful, particularly if the student/employee is very upset and may benefit from the extra support.
Urgent concerns that do require immediate attention may include:
- FEAR OF LOSING CONTROL AND POSSIBLY HURTING SOMEONE ELSE
- SEXUAL/PHYSICAL ASSAULT OR OTHER TYPES OF ABUSE
- RECENT DEATH OF LOVED ONE (particularly if the person is unable to manage his/her emotions)
- THREATENING OR OVERTLY VIOLENT BEHAVIOR
Emergency situations warrant referrals to either the Counseling Center or Public Safety. If there is an imminent threat of danger, contact Public Safety. Otherwise, contact the Counseling Center. For more information about how to make campus referrals, please see above.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS :
Augusta University POLICE: 706.737.1401 or 706.729.2911 (for emergencies)
COUNSELING CENTER: 706.737.1471
DEAN OF STUDENTS: 706.737.1411