Faculty and staff members play a vital role in identifying students who may benefit from the services provided by the Counseling Center.
Students will often turn to trusted faculty, advisors, coaches, and mentors for informal advice and support. Although you are not expected to provide counseling, it may be helpful for you to become familiar with signs that indicate a student is experiencing emotional distress so you can respond effectively when students approach you with a concern. This section is designed to help you to do the following:
You should consider making a referral to the Counseling Center if you notice any of the following:
Some students may be initially hesitant about seeking counseling. When you have decided that professional counseling is indicated, tell the student directly and clearly why you are making the referral.
Short-term counseling is provided to all students enrolled in a degree program. If a student has difficulties that need more frequent and/or longer-term counseling to address adequately, we may suggest other resources that would be more appropriate.
All Counseling Center staff members have experience helping students with a wide range of concerns. Although we will do our best to honor a student’s preference to see a specific counselor, it may result in a longer wait time depending upon schedules and availability. You are welcome to call the Center and let us know that you have referred a student.
*If at any time you become concerned that the student is in imminent danger of harming themselves or someone else, you should call the Office of Public Safety at 610.330.4444.
Asking a student whether they are thinking about suicide can feel uncomfortable and even frightening. You cannot increase someone’s risk of ending their life just by bringing up the topic. Research shows that acknowledging and talking about suicide might actually reduce suicidal thoughts. Many students feel very relieved when someone realizes they are hurting so much that they are having thoughts about not wanting to be alive. Even though someone might be thinking about suicide, it doesn’t mean they have a clear plan. The opportunity to have a conversation with a caring person can significantly reduce the risk that a student will actually harm themselves.
Signs a student might be considering suicide include:
Events associated with increased risk include:
Responding to Concerns about Suicide
If you have ANY concern that a student might be considering suicide, you should ask them directly about your concerns.
Counseling Center staff members are required by law and by professional codes of ethics to protect the confidentiality of all contacts with students. The only exceptions occur in cases of imminent danger to self or others or reports of child abuse. Without a student’s permission we can discuss neither the content of counseling sessions nor the fact that they are a client of the Counseling Center. These requirements are in effect even when a faculty/staff member has made the original referral to the Center. However, if the student gives their written permission, we are happy to speak with referring faculty or staff members.
While our counselors are unable to provide confidential information about a specific student without their permission, we always are able to consult with faculty and staff regarding any concerns you may have about a student and discuss available supports and resources. If you have any questions about the services offered by the Counseling Center or would like to consult with a counselor, please feel free to call 610.330.5005.
When the Counseling Center is closed, after-hours crisis support is available by calling 610.330.5005. The College works with ProtoCall Services to provide crisis support and referrals.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency call Public Safety at 610.330.4444.
Additional Crisis Services:
Emergency Room at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg (610) 402-8000
2545 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017
Togetherall is a peer-to-peer mental health community that empowers students to anonymously seek and provide support. This online resource is moderated by mental health professionals and offers a safe space to connect with others experiencing similar feelings 24/7, 365 days a year. Togetherall also offers journaling, goal-setting and self-assessment tools, in addition to a wide range of self-guided courses to help support mental health and well-being. Help promote this free resource to all Lafayette students by sharing this slide.
For those students who wish to seek counseling from an off-campus mental health professional, we offer referral consultations to help students locate treatment providers in the Lehigh Valley.
Students who are interested in receiving an evaluation for medication are encouraged to contact the Bailey Health Center at 610.330.5001 to schedule an appointment with prescribing medical providers and/or the consulting psychiatrist.
Supporting students in distress can be both rewarding and stressful. Remember to take care of yourself too. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) program provides access to services that address personal life challenges, and connects you to valuable resources and guidance, while providing confidential support in areas concerning the management of work-life issues.
Learn about the Mental Wellness and Work-Life Balance Resources available to you through the Office of Human Resources.
Kognito is an interactive, practice-based simulation for faculty and staff that builds awareness, knowledge, and skills about mental health and suicide prevention, and prepares users to lead real-life conversations with students that build resilience, strengthen relationships and connect them with support. Click on the picture below to be directed to the online simulation which takes about 30-40 minutes to complete.
The Supporting Student Wellbeing Guidebook offers guidance to faculty teaching, advising, and mentoring students. The resource addresses topics including fostering students’ sense of belonging, cultivating connection, promoting a growth mindset, addressing perfectionism, empowering learners from diverse backgrounds, addressing the imposter phenomenon, countering stereotype threat, promoting student growth, creating optimal challenge, implementing trauma-informed and mindfulness approaches, as well as supporting student success and enhancing faculty wellness.