Counseling Center Resources for Faculty & Staff

Faculty and Staff are Important to the W Counseling Center!


We believe that faculty and staff self-care is vital. The W counseling Center is here to offer you support by providing information that could prevent disruptions in your life and the lives of your students. If you are experiencing distress or need someone to talk with, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Work – Life Services is a great tool for you. Faculty and Staff are given 3 free counseling appointments per issue, per year. You can schedule an appointment with EAP Counselors in the surrounding area (not just Columbus). For more information visit


There are many statistics that document how important it is to increase mental health awareness on campus. The W Counseling Center is well prepared to support students; but if students do not seek care it is impossible to support the growing diverse population of our student needs. Mental Health is as important as physical health. Unresolved mental health issues can put individuals at higher risks for other diseases. Steps to positive support for mental health can help shatter the negative stigma.

W.E.A.R and CARE

According to “Innovative Educators”, an on line training site, all college employees who regularly interact with students should be aware of signs of distress and how to respond. Preparing all employees to W.E.A.R and Care will assist in helping distressed students seek professional support.


The vast majority of higher educational professionals are not trained to diagnose and provide treatment for any mental health issue. But employees can easily recognize signs of stress by being aware of changes in behavior, attitudes and/or hygiene.


Acknowledge to the student what you have observed, that you are sincerely concerned for them, and that you are willing to help them explore options to get back in a good space. Any private method of communication that feels comfortable to you is appropriate.


Of course, we want to leave diagnosis and treatment to the appropriate professionals on campus. If you are unsure of how to respond, ask one of the counselors at the W Counseling Center or Campus Health Center for the appropriate approaches you can utilize with the student.


Once you have talked with the student, consider a referral for assistance. Be honest and kind while letting the student know that you believe seeking help from a professional counselor will help them with their situation. Do not force the issue if the student is not receptive, simply restate your concerns and recommendations.

Warning Signs of Disruptive Student Behavior

A disruptive or disturbing student may exhibit behaviors that signify a crisis and necessitate more immediate intervention. Behaviors include but not limited to:

  1. Highly disruptive behavior (aggression, disregard for classroom conduct, verbal hostility, etc.): failure to comply with corrective feedback.
  2. Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, pressured speech: disorganized, confused, or rambling thoughts).
  3. Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things which others cannot hear or see: irrational beliefs or fears that others may be conspiring against them).
  4. Stalking behaviors and inappropriate communications (including threatening letters, email messages, harassment).
  5. Suicidal thoughts and/or threats to harm (communicated orally or in written form)

How to Respond to a Disruptive Student

  1. If immediate safety is a concern or the student acts highly irrational or disruptive, call Campus Police. (662-241-7777)
  2. If safety is not a concern, attempt to deescalate the situation.
  3. Dismiss class if asking to speak to the student alone or in the hallway alone would escalate the behaviors.
  4. If you are uncomfortable meeting with the student one-on-one, arrange to have another staff present.
  5. Explain to the student which behaviors are unacceptable. Be clear and precise in the words you use.
  6. Remain calm. You stand a better chance of calming the student if you are calm.
  7. Talk with your supervisor for additional assistance.
  8. Consult with MUW Counseling Center, Dean of Students, and/or MUW Police.

Warning Signs of Students in Distress

Students in distress or trouble may not be disruptive to others. But may exhibit behaviors which indicate something is problematic. They may also be reluctant or unable to acknowledge a need for personal help. Behaviors may include but not limited to:

Marked changes in academic performance.

  1. Tardiness and excessive absences inconsistent with prior history.
  2. Withdrawal from and/or avoidance of participation.
  3. Increased anxiety around exams or deadlines.
  4. Difficulty working in teams.
  5. Changes in emotional states (sadness, crying, lethargy, irritability, rapid speech, preoccupied, increased disagreements with peers and instructors).
  6. Changes in physical well-being (poor self-hygiene, rapid weight loss or gain, increased illness, sleeping in class).
  7. Repeated requests for special consideration (deadline extensions, changes in requirements, grade changes).
  8. Behaviors which may interfere with effective management of the learning environment (outbursts of anger, domination of discussion, derailing the focus of the class).

How to Respond to Distress Students

  1. Address the situation on an individual level.
  2. Consider having someone meet with you and your student.
  3. Speak to the student in a straightforward fashion that shows concern for their welfare.
  4. Offer confidentiality to the student should they wish to talk.
  5. Provide corrective feedback and offer to help.
  6. Encourage the student to use campus resources. Offer student assistance with making an appointment at the W Counseling Center.

Aggression: If you see or are dealing with aggressive behavior or other potentially threatening situations, your first contact is:

Emotional/Troubling Behavior: If you are dealing with a student who needs to speak with someone about personal concerns or is experiencing an emotional crisis, your first contact is:

Disruptive Behavior: If you are dealing with a student who is disruptive or has violated the student code of conduct (student who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, who will not behave in an appropriate manner), your first contact is:

Counseling Center

11th Street South at 4th Avenue South
Phone: (662) 329-7748