Referring Someone to Counseling

Department of Counseling Services
Referral Guide

The purpose of this guide is to provide a list of common concerns where counseling may be helpful, inform you how to make a referral with a student, and provide you with ways to receive some advice on referrals.

cOMMON Situations FOR Referral


  • Adjustment to college
  • Conflicting relationship with parents
  • Concerns about interpersonal relationships
  • Concerns about intimate relationships
  • Sexual identity concerns
  • Loss and grieving
  • Life transitions
  • Stress Management
  • Test Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders

Career Concerns

  • Dissatisfaction with current major
  • Failure in current major
  • Undecided about major
  • Unrealistic career aspirations
  • Lack of knowledge about a career area
  • Interest in transferring to another school
  • Interest in graduate education

Situations indicating concerns of a serious nature

  • Frequent absences from class
  • Loss of appetite or excessive eating
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Unexplained crying or emotional outbursts
  • Social withdrawal
  • Acute restlessness or irritability
  • Significant changes in behavior or academic performance
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Lying or antisocial acts
  • Significant confusion or thinking disturbance
  • References to suicide (comments and threats should always be taken seriously and action should be taken immediately)

How to Refer a Student for Counseling

  • If the student is an immediate risk to themselves or others, do not leave them alone.  Immediately walk them to 256 Becht between the hours of 8:30-12 p.m., and 1-4:30 p.m., call county crisis at 814 226 7223, or call 911.
  • The best way to refer a student who is not in immediate crisis to counseling services is to call with the student to make an appointment at 814 393 2255.
  • If you notice a student who you are concerned about, but you are having a difficult time having a conversation with them, contact the Student Support Assistant, use this resource, or call (814) 393 2031 to consult about the best way to talk to them.

Emergencies vs. Non-emergencies

  • If a student talks about suicide or describes a specific plan for harming himself or herself or others, this constitutes an emergency.
  • Immediate referral to Counseling Services is critical.  it is important to explain the nature of the emergency to the person at the reception desk so that the individual will be seen properly.
  • Please do not label a non-life-threatening situation as an emergency. This will allow urgent situations that are emergencies to be dealt with immediately.
  • If a life-threatening emergency occurs after office hours, you can call an emergency services mental health delegate by calling 911. You can also refer a student in crisis to the Mental Health Crisis at 814-226-7223.

For more information

Clarion Campus

Counseling Services  
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
256 Becht Hall
Clarion, PA 16214

or visit:

Venango Campus

Department of Counseling Services
234 Montgomery Hall
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Oil City, PA 16301
814-676-6591, ext. 1281
(From Clarion Campus, dial ext. 1281)

Last Updated 6/12/18