Resources for Staff

Faculty, staff and administrators are often the first people to notice when a student appears to be in distress. In these situations, it can be very hard to know what might help the student, and to find the right balance between offering assistance and supporting a student’s privacy and autonomy. Likewise, it can be difficult to tell, and to know what to do, when a student’s distress poses a safety risk.

In some cases, it may make sense for a faculty member, staff member, or administrator to refer the student to the SPS Counseling Services. While SPS will not have the full complement of counseling services (crisis intervention, evaluation, short-term psychotherapy) available until Spring 2019, SPS is able to offer Customized Supported Referral services at this time. This means that when a student contacts Counseling Services, they will speak with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist about their current challenges, get help finding financially feasible off-campus resources that will help them address those challenges, receive follow-up support until they are solidly connected to services, and receive further assistance if they encounter roadblocks in accessing the services.

If you are an SPS faculty member, staff member or administrator and you want help thinking about how to help a distressed or disruptive student, please consider scheduling a Faculty, Staff, and Administrator Consultation with Erin Jeanette, Head of Counseling Services. In such a consultation, you can expect to discuss:

  • What you are noticing that is causing you concern about the student
  • Whether, when and how, to suggest to a student that they might benefit from mental health counseling
  • What mental health resources are available to the student
  • What will happen for the student if you refer them to counseling
  • What types of confidentiality you, as a non-clinician, are expected to maintain
  • Your responsibility for follow-up after you have referred a student to counseling

To schedule a consultation, please email Counseling@sps.cuny.edu or call 646-664-8647.

It is important to note that seeking a Faculty, Staff and Administrator Consultation about a student is not equivalent to making a formal report of the student’s distressed or disruptive behavior. At SPS (and at most colleges and universities) there are important distinctions between Counseling Services and other services like student conduct and public safety. Often a faculty member, staff member, or administrator will consult with Counseling Services precisely because they are not sure what other campus constituents should be involved in addressing a student’s needs/behavior. Such a consultation is best thought of as brain-storming session aimed to help the faculty member, staff member or administrator balance the needs of the student, the needs of the institution, and their own job role.

In an emergency:

If you are in a situation where you feel that your safety, or the safety of someone else, is in immediate danger, you should not wait to consult with Counseling Services. In cases of imminent danger, please call 911 and, if on campus, also notify Public Safety at 646-664-8600. After contacting emergency services, please also notify Counseling Services of the incident by emailing Counseling@sps.cuny.edu or calling 646-664-8647.

Email and Confidentiality

When you email, please remember that email is inherently not a confidential medium. We recommend that you use email to communicate only about scheduling, not to discuss the details of what brings you to seek consultation.  Also, please avoid using student names in emails.