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Counseling Referral Information

Student, Faculty, and Staff Stupport

The primary mission of the Pepperdine University Student Counseling[s]&[s]Testing Center is to provide a broad range of services and resources for students, faculty, and staff to assist in their personal, emotional, spiritual, career and educational development. Our purpose is to help people function well so that they can maximize the educational experience.

The college experience is a combination of anticipation and anxiety, competition and camaraderie, dependence and independence. In essence, it is an exciting and sometimes stressful time. Academic pressures, family conflicts, relationship problems, career indecision, and personal beliefs may cause adjustment difficulties. Some college students experience psychological crises which temporarily interfere with their lives. Typical challenges are depression, acute anxiety, alcohol or drug abuse or other serious problems.

As a member of the faculty, administration or staff, you may encounter students or colleagues who are experiencing serious problems. Students may look to you either in crisis situations or when they need support for what we understand as typical adjustment and decision making issues. What should you do?

How to Refer

Here are several guidelines which might prove helpful in your interaction with the person you want to refer.

  • Speak with the person openly and honestly. Share your concern directly and concretely. 
  • Share your observations of the behavior(s) that lead you to conclude that a referral is advisable or necessary. See Symptoms to look for with students. 
  • Be specific regarding the behaviors that have caused concern.
  • Avoid negative comments or implications about personality or character.
  • Encourage response or expression of thoughts and/or feelings. Accept what is received. Consider the person's emotional and psychological reaction to the referral. Let them know that the information you received from them is confidential (unless there is talk of suicide). 
  • Respect the person's right to reject the referral suggestion, the need to take time to think about it. This is acceptable unless there is talk of suicide. If they choose not to come to the Student Counseling[s]&[s]Testing Center - you may want to explore other options (family members, the University Chaplain, physician. etc.).
  • Share your knowledge about the referral source; if possible refer to a specific person. If referring to an office, a simple explanation of the function of the office may help to alleviate normal anxiety.
  • Assure them that seeking help is a sign of strength and does not necessarily mean that there are serious problems.
  • If the person is ready to accept referral, let him or her make the call, or if they prefer that you call the Center, do so when they are present. Call the Counseling Center Director, ext. 4210. If it is an emergency, please indicate so to the person who answers. A counselor will speak with you immediately. You may wish to tell the person being referred that you will be glad to go with him or her to the Center.