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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  • Appears depressed, withdrawn, little motivation for academic pursuits, references to suicide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. 

Consultation 

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.