Community Advisors/Resident Life Staff

Guidelines - What to Do

  • Be Available - Let residents know NOW that you are a person they can come to.
  • Be Aware - Are there behavior changes? Talk with roommate to confirm changes. Talk with resident to understand what is happening.
  • Take Problems Seriously - Even if those problems seem unimportant to you (e.g., failing grades, relationship breakup, etc.).
  • Listen - Be willing to spend some time with residents. Ask directly if they have thought of harming themselves.
  • Explain Options - Let students know that help is available and that you will provide support for them as they seek that help (e.g., Dean of Students, Counseling Services, etc.).

What NOT to Do

  • Do not try to shock or challenge. ("Go ahead and do it;" "Yeah, right")
  • Do not analyze the person's motives. ("You just feel bad because...")
  • Do not argue or try to reason. (You can't kill yourself because...")
  • Do not use guilt. ("Do you know how bad your folks would feel?")
  • Do not console WITHOUT listening. ("I know how you feel. I flunked chemistry too, but everything worked out.")

Note: For on-campus emergencies that occur after hours and on weekends, please contact Campus Safety at 716.286.8111 (Ext. 8111). Students may also contact their CA to access the residence director on call or access the RD on call themselves. Students may also directly contact Niagara County Crisis Services at 716.285.3515.

How to Refer Someone to Counseling

  • Approach student in calm, warm and understanding manner.
  • Express your concerns clearly, giving examples of observable changes which you have noticed in their behavior, work, academics, relationships, or life situations. State these as observations, not judgments.
  • Reassure the student that help is available and explain what services are offered at Counseling Services, how to access them and inform the student that counseling is confidential.
  • If the student is not in crisis, you can indicate to them that it is ok to take time to think about going to counseling and that rejecting counseling does not mean that they are rejecting you or your assistance.
  • If the student is in crisis, explain that you are concerned for their welfare and want to consult with someone who is better able to assist the student. Then, contact Counseling Services (Ext. 8536, Monday -Friday 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m.).