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Worried About Your Friend?
As a friend to a fellow student, you can consult with the UCPS at any time regarding your concern about a particular student or situation. Perhaps we can help, either by providing information or in facilitating a referral.
In emergency situations involving a student who may be unwilling or unable to contact the UCPS directly, you as a friend should call the Dean of Students at (610) 758-4156 or our office; the UCPS has an on-call system with a staff member available 24 hours a day.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I suggest counseling to a friend?
Suggesting that a friend seek counseling can be a demonstration of caring and concern, not of judgment and condemnation. Tell your friend that you are concerned for his/her well-being, and would like to see him/her feeling more happy and content than is currently the case. Explain to your friend that although you are available to lend support, you are not a professional, and you believe that the assistance you can offer is limited. You can also offer to be with your friend while he/she makes a counseling appointment by phone or in person, and to walk him/her to the counseling center when it is time for the appointment. On occasion students also feel more comfortable if a friend sits in on the first session.
Potential Warning Signs
- Appears depressed, withdrawn, little motivation for academic pursuits, references to suicide
- Is not attending class, failing exams, or failing to hand in assignments
- Frequently falls asleep in class
- Comes to class smelling of alcohol
- Appears to be inebriated or high in class
- Frequently appears to be agitated, distracted, or distant
- Loses interest in her or his personal appearance
- Exhibits odd, peculiar, or bizarre behavior
- Has experienced some recent or past that is interfering with his/her ability to function
- Seems highly anxious or "stressed out"
- Has interpersonal difficulties/relationship problems
If you have determined that a student might benefit from UCPS services, it is usually best to...
- Communicate your concern directly to the student
- Be specific about the behaviors or statements that have aroused your concern and avoid making generalizations
- If the student agrees to the referral, either you or the student can call our office to make an appointment
- If your friend or a fellow student is reluctant or rejects the referral and you are significantly concerned about his or her welfare, please call the Dean of Students at (610) 758-4156. Someone from that office can help.
Finally, the UCPS provides consultations to parents, family and friends who are concerned about their child, relative or friend. Such consultations can focus on a range of issues. Common topics include; how to refer a student to the UCPS, how to assist a student experiencing a difficult situation, or how to facilitate a referral to a mental health care provider in the local community.
To speak with a UCPS staff member about your concerns please call the UCPS at (610) 758-3880 and ask to consult with one of our therapists. If a staff member is available he or she will speak with you at that time, however if all are currently busy, please leave a message with our administrative staff and one of our senior staff members will return your call as soon as possible.