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Making Effective Referrals

How Our Colleagues can make Effective Referrals to the Iona Counseling Center

The staff of the Counseling Center would like to assist our colleagues in encouraging students to make the best use of the Iona College Counseling Center. If any students with whom you have contact in your classroom, on your athletic teams or as your student worker appear to have emotional problems which may require professional attention, please refer them to the Counseling Center.

Some typical reasons for referral are:

  • Inability to complete assignments, meet job or team expectations;
  • Excessive exam or class absences, absences from work or from team practices;
  • Disclosing disturbing information either verbally or in written materials such as journals or autobiographies.
  • Examples include disclosure of incest, rape, eating disorders, substance abuse, hopelessness and suicidal ideation.
  • Abrupt decline in academic or athletic performance or deterioration of physical appearance including odd or bizarre clothing, looking unkempt and disheveled or sudden weight loss.
  • Signs of emotional distress - tearfulness, anxiety, belligerence, lack of concentration, excessive daydreaming.
  • Inappropriate classroom, workplace or team behavior - disruptive, uncooperative, demanding excessive attention, making irrelevant, threatening or bizarre comments, inability to sit still or to stop talking.
  • Disclosure of sexual harassment by an administrator, staff person, on-campus employer, or professor.

While there is no best way to encourage students to use our services, here is an approach that we have found to be effective:

Give the student your reason(s) for suggesting a referral. It helps to present counseling as a positive growth experience that can enhance self development rather than as remediation of psychopathology. If the student is willing, let him or her use your phone to immediately schedule an appointment.

If the referral is an emergency, it is best to walk the student over to the Counseling Center, if at all possible. If this is not possible, please call the Counseling Center and alert us to the fact that you have sent over a student and that it is an emergency. Your alerting us will let us know that the student should be seen immediately rather than wait for a scheduled appointment.

If there is background information about this student that would be useful for the Center to know, please ask the student's permission to share that information with us. Once the student has made an appointment, you may suggest that he or she return to let you know how things worked out.

Alternatively, if you alert us about a student and would like limited feedback, we can have the student sign a Release of Information Form which would allow us to contact you. Without a signed release, we cannot divulge any information, as we are bound by rules of confidentiality.

We hope that you will familiarize yourself with the Counseling Center by reviewing the information on this website. We also extend a cordial invitation to visit or to call us if you have any questions about our services, policies or procedures. Please feel free to contact:

Brielle Stark-Adler, Ph.D.
Iona College Counseling Center
(914) 633-2038