How to make a referral

When you believe that a student might benefit from professional counselling, it is best to be honest about your concern for his or her welfare, and to state your reasons for suggesting counselling. Then it is advisable to leave the decision up to them. Some people facing enormous personal difficulties prefer not to receive professional help; many do cope well with the support of family, friends, and fellow-students. Others may need time to decide.

A referral can be formal or informal. Usually, talking to a student about the availability of the Counselling Service and encouraging him or her to make contact will suffice. More rarely, a tutor will inform the Counselling Service of his or her concerns about a particular student, so that the counsellors are aware of the situation should the student decide to get in touch. It is, however, important for the counselling process that students take responsibility for making their own appointment with us.

Where appropriate, we can also provide information about other possible sources of help.

Consultation with a counsellor is always available to members of staff who feel that a student is in need of professional help but has placed the responsibility on the staff member by refusing to seek it.