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As a faculty or staff member, you help demonstrate SFA's care for our students by identifying and referring students who may benefit from our resources. We appreciate your help in making students aware of the services we provide.

Counseling Services is staffed with full-time professional counselors who provide:

  • individual, group and couples counseling to SFA students
  • information and consultation to faculty and staff
  • and presentations on various mental health topics.

Counseling Services also offers QPR training to all members of the campus community to teach suicide prevention skills.

Resolving situational or mental health issues helps a student achieve academically, and intervening early when a student shows signs of mental health issues helps keep our campus safe for everyone.

Note: We ask for the appointment to be made by the student seeking services. Thank you for what you do!

How do I know a student needs help?

There will be times when the need for intervention is unmistakable, but sometimes the signs are more subtle. You may notice changes in:

  • attendance
  • behavior
  • appearance
  • or grades.

Other times, you may overhear comments or something written in an assignment may cause concern.

Indications a student may need attention

Below are a few indications a student may need attention. Expand each option for a list of examples.

Changes in personal relationships

  • Death of a family member or close friend
  • Difficulties in family or close relationships

Lack of direction

  • Lack of alternative goals when failing
  • Dissatisfaction with academic major
  • Unrealistic educational aspirations
  • Confusion about interest, abilities or values
  • Chronic indecisiveness or choice conflict

Learning problems

  • Decline in coursework and class participation
  • Poor study habits
  • Incapacitating and irrational test anxiety
  • Repeated requests for special considerations
  • Increased absences from class
  • Disruptive behavior in class

Drug and alcohol abuse

  • Indications of excessive drinking or drug abuse
  • Loss of interest and motivation, decreased performance and increased absences
  • Changes in physical appearance and behavior
  • Decline in interactions with classmates
  • Reduced memory, concentration and attention span

Unusual behavior

  • Withdrawal from usual social interaction
  • Unwillingness to communicate
  • Inability to sleep, excessive sleep or disturbed sleep
  • Loss of appetite or excessive appetite
  • Unexplained crying or outbursts of anger
  • Irritability, aggressiveness, agitation and excessive talking
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Excessive or irrational worrying
  • Poor communication
    • garbled and slurred speech, disjointed and disconnected thoughts
  • Loss of contact with reality
    • seeing/hearing things that aren't there, beliefs or actions at odds with reality or probability
  • Suspiciousness, irrational feelings of persecution
  • Feelings of shame, guilt and poor self-esteem
  • References to suicide, suicide attempts or feelings of hopelessness - refer or seek consultation immediately

What can I do?

  • Thoughts of suicide: Do not be afraid to ask students directly if you suspect they are having thoughts of suicide.
    • You even are encouraged to walk students directly to our office during office hours if they are able and willing.
  • Make an effort to engage the student in conversation.
    • Encourage them to come to your office when you have sufficient time to talk.
      • You already have the feeling that this student is dealing with some problem that is more serious than that of the average student.
      • Your willingness to listen to their feelings and thoughts without judgment may very well be the encouragement your student needs to address the problem.
  • Encourage the student to utilize support from friends, parents, professors and counselors at SFA.
  • Suggest the student engage in social activities.
  • Be straightforward.
    • When you feel that a student might benefit from professional counseling, it's usually best to express your recommendation to the student in a straightforward manner.
    • Refer to the behavior that has raised your concern and avoid making generalizations or attributing anything negative to the individual's personality or character.
    • Students are not charged for visiting Counseling Services, and all information is confidential within the limits provided by the law. No record is made on an academic transcript or credential file.
  • Help remove the stigma.
    • Sometimes, a student is concerned that counseling carries a stigma. Assure the student that hundreds of SFA students seek counseling services.
    • If the student is reluctant for any reason, simply express your acceptance of those feelings so that your own relationship with the student is not jeopardized.
    • Give the student room to consider alternatives by suggesting that perhaps you can talk again after the student has had some time to think it over.
      • If the student declines, respect the decision and again leave the situation open for possible discussion later.
Contacting our office
  • If you call our office, identify yourself as a faculty or staff member.
  • If there is a particular counselor that you would prefer the student to see, feel free to request them.
  • If the situation is an emergency, don't hesitate to tell the receptionist. We will make every effort to see the student immediately.
    • In this case, you may want to walk with the student to Counseling Services.
    • Otherwise, ask your student to schedule the appointment.

If you have information about the student that you think is important to share with the counselor, feel free to contact the counselor privately. The counselor will be happy to speak with you but won't be able to share any information about the client (unless the student has provided written permission).

Avoid asking the student for particular information after they have been referred to counseling. Generally, if you ask whether the appointment was kept, the student will volunteer whatever information seems appropriate. Some students follow through with counseling, and some, for various reasons, do not.

You may wish to "check in" with the student from time to time. Immediate resolution to most problems is unlikely, and our staff can't reveal whether a student has attended a counseling appointment for confidentiality reasons.

Contact

Counseling Services
936.468.2401
counseling@sfasu.edu
Staff directory

Office Hours:
8 a.m. to Noon
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday
Closed during university holidays

Physical Address:
Tucker Building
Southeast corner of Raguet and East College streets

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13058, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962