Most Union College students are not from the immediate Capital Region area, meaning that when they first matriculate and/or return from a session break, they are leaving their support systems behind. Many students establish new and equally effective support systems. However, for some students the pressures of college become stressful to the point of interfering with their academic success and emotional well-being. These pressures tend to intensify during common "crisis periods" such as mid-terms, final exams, and pre-holiday periods. As faculty and staff at Union College, you may encounter these distressed students looking to you for support.
We understand that many factors can impact your willingness to respond to distressed students. One factor may be your personal philosophy about the limits of a faculty or staff member's responsibility in situations such as these. Other factors can include situational factors (class size, format), a student's comfort in seeking out contact, and a student's openness to assistance. All of the above factors may have a substantial effect on the type of interactions you can have with a student.
The likelihood is, however, that at some point in your tenure at Union College, you will come into contact with a student in distress and in need of psychological assistance. We are confident that faculty and staff can identify these students and offer valuable support. The handouts below can assist faculty and staff in identifying, facilitating, and referring students in distress. We hope that the information and recommendations provided assist you in helping students make the most of their educational experience at Union.
For further reading:
- Faculty decision making tree
- Students in distress manual for faculty
- Referring a student to the Counseling Center
- Signs of a student in distress
As stated in our policies, faculty and staff are not eligible for Counseling Center services. However, faculty and staff may receive similar services through the Employee Assistance Plan offered by Union's Human Resources department.