Faculty FAQ

What should I do if I think a student needs help?
If you are unsure if a student needs help and/or you are unsure how to help , you can call the Counseling Service and consult with one of the staff clinicians. When you call, identify yourself as a faculty member and let the receptionist know how urgent the situation is. Do you need help immediately, by the end of the day, or within the next week?  This information will help the receptionist route your call. 

If I call to consult about a student, do I have to give the student's name?
It is most helpful if you do provide the name. That way, we can more effectively respond especially if we are actively seeing the student. That being said, if your inquiry/concern is benign enough that we do not need to respond or intervene, a name may not be necessary.

Will the student know that I called?
You should be asked by the clinician when you call whether or not you are comfortable with us giving your name to the student.  If it is information we need to act on by doing a well-being check or intervening in some way, we will either provide your name with your permission or let the student know that “a concerned community member” gave us the information. If you are the only person the student confided in, you may be identifiable.

Can I email the Counseling Service with concerns about a student?
It is best to initiate contact with a phone call.  Some of our staff is part-time, so e-mail may not be checked every day, whereas if you call, you can be immediately directed to someone who is able to address your concern that day.

Do I have to grant a request for a medical course withdrawal or extension if it has been authorized by the Counseling Service?
Absolutely not.  By authorizing a course withdrawal or extension, we are simply documenting the fact that an illness affected a student’s ability to complete her coursework. In so doing, we are relying on you as the faculty member to decide whether or not the extension or withdrawal is warranted as per the academic integrity of your classroom.  For example, when a student is authorized for an extension but, unbeknownst to us, has not completed work since the 4th week of the semester and has not been attending class, you should most likely say no to the extension and perhaps suggest a course withdrawal instead. The Dean of Studies office is the best resource for guidelines around these types of decisions.

What are the most common issues that cause students to seek help?
Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating issues, relational issues, academic difficulties, stress, self-injury, suicidality, trauma, identity concerns, and developmental stressors.

Can MHC employees utilize the Counseling Service?
The Counseling Service can only treat currently enrolled students, but we will consult with employees around issues with students. For non-student concerns, we can recommend therapists in the local area or you can access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Human Resources.  They offer valuable resources — usually for free.

What if I need additional information about the Counseling Service?
Call us at  413-538-2037.  For urgent matters, ask for the emergency clinician.