How to Make Referrals

YOUR ATTITUDE of sincere interest and helpfulness toward a student in need is most important.

REASSURANCE is important. Assure him/her that seeking help is the first step to addressing his/her problem.

TIMING is important. When a student is receptive toward a referral, offer to pick up the phone and assist him/her in making an appointment.

PURPOSE of the referral should be made clear to the student, and you should explain how the Counseling Center can assist him/her with his/her problems. There are many kinds of referrals.

MUTUAL DECISION regarding referrals creates the best climate for helping a student, unless he/she is seriously disturbed and unable to accept such responsibility.  Threats or involuntary referrals make for hostile attitudes and/or unmotivated students.

CONTACT a staff member at the Counseling Center to share pertinent information about the person you referred. If you decide it is important to share information about the student with the Counseling Center staff, it is better to receive permission from the student beforehand.

Referrals to the Counseling Center are more effective when you do one or more of the following:

  • encourage the student to seek out help for a particular reason or behavior
  • call ahead and have him/her make an appointment; and
  • escort the person to the Counseling Center