When to Refer to CAPS

You will be able to assist many distressed students on your own by simply listening and offering academic support. Some students will, however, need more than you can provide. Respect any feelings of discomfort you may have and focus on getting them the assistance they need. Circumstances that may indicate a referral is necessary may include the following:

  • The problem is more serious than you feel comfortable handling
  • You have helped as much as you can and further assistance is needed
  • You think your personal feelings about the student will interfere with your objectivity
  • The student admits that there is a problem but does not want to talk to you about it
  • The student asks for information or assistance that you are unable to provide

If you or the student think the matter is a mental health emergency, the student can meet immediately with the on-call crisis therapist. In these situations, you may decide to accompany the student to the CAPS office at their campus.  

If you believe a student is in imminent danger of harm to self or others, you should immediately call the Department of Public Safety on your campus or the local police department where you know the student to be. Failing to call the police may mean that the help a student needs is delayed.  

If a student is in imminent danger because of a medical condition (bleeding, ingestion of pills or other substances, seizure, etc.), even if you believe it is a suicide gesture or attempt, you must call DPS on your campus or 911 off-campus and ask for medical assistance. Medical issues take priority over any other issues.

Page last updated 4:10 PM, June 5, 2018