Need to help a student?

Title IX and Possible Instances of Sexual Misconduct

The following information about Title IX should appear on your syllabus:

If, at any time during this course, I happen to be made aware that a student may have been the victim of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic/dating violence, or stalking), I am obligated by federal law to inform the university’s Title IX Coordinator. The university needs to know information about such incidents to, not only offer resources, but to ensure a safe campus environment. The Title IX Coordinator will decide if the incident should be examined further. If such a situation is disclosed to me in class, in a paper assignment, or in office hours, I promise to protect your privacy–I will not disclose the incident to anyone but the Title IX Coordinator. For more information on Sexual Misconduct policies, where to get help, and reporting information please refer to http://www.udel.edu/sexualmisconduct. At UD, we provide 24 hour crisis assistance and victim advocacy and counseling. Contact 302-831-2226, Student Health Services, to get in touch with a sexual offense support advocate.

Office of Equity and Inclusion

Contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion (302-831-8063) for concerns about discriminatory harassment.

LGBTQ+ Advocacy, Support, and Resources

The LGBTQ+ support center is a safe space for students, provides numerous campus resources (such as a list of gender neutral bathrooms on campus), and conducts faculty and staff training in allyship. The university also hosts both an undergraduate (Haven) and graduate (Prism) LGBTQ+ student organization.

Student Counseling and Mental Health Support

The University of Delaware Counseling Center offers the following advice for instructors who are concerned about the psychological state of a student:

Emergency Situations
In case of a psychological emergency, help is available 24 hours a day when school is in session during the fall and spring semesters, as well as the Winter Session. For emergencies during regular business hours, contact the Center for Counseling and Student Development (302-831-2141). For emergencies in the evenings, or on weekends, contact Student Health Services (302-831-2226).

In case of dire emergency involving the safety of someone, University Police should be contacted.

  • If calling from on-campus, dial 911
  • If calling from off-campus, dial 302-831-2222

The Center for Counseling and Student Development may then be asked to provide assistance once immediate safety is secured.

Non-emergency Situations: FAQs
For non-emergency situations, faculty may consult the following FAQs:

What is the role of the faculty in assisting students who have problems?
The stress of academic, social, family, work, and/or financial concerns are often interrelated and may result in a student turning to faculty members for help. In fact, anyone who is perceived as knowledgeable, caring, and trustworthy may be a potential resource in times of trouble.

Faculty members are often in a good position to identify students who are troubled. Timely expressions of interest and concern may be critical factors in helping students solve problems that are interfering with academic survival and success.

When to refer?
Not every student needs professional counseling. Sometimes simply listening and offering encouragement and empathy can help a student feel understood. If you want to let a student know that his or her concerns are normal and expected, be sure not to minimize the problems in doing so. What is a simple solution in your view may be harder to imagine for another person.

If distressing circumstances are affecting a student’s well-being or ability to make satisfactory academic progress, a referral for counseling may be in order. Referrals are usually indicated in the following situations:

  1. A student presents a problem or requests information which is outside your range of knowledge;
  2. You feel that personality differences which cannot be resolved between you and the student will interfere with your efforts to help the student;
  3. The problem is personal, and you know the student on more than a professional basis (friend, neighbor, relative, etc.);
  4. A student is reluctant to discuss a problem with you for some reason;
  5. You do not believe your counseling with the student has been effective.

How to refer?
When a faculty member determines that a student might benefit from professional counseling, it is usually best that the student be spoken to in a direct, straightforward fashion in which concern for his or her welfare is shown. It is recommended that faculty make it clear that this suggestion represents his/her best judgment based on observations of the student’s behavior. Specific feedback about behaviors of concern is recommended. Above all, it is not advisable to attempt to deceive or trick the student into seeking counseling.

Except in emergencies, the option must be left open for the student to accept or refuse counseling. If the student is skeptical or reluctant, simply express your acceptance of those feelings so that your own relationship with the student is not jeopardized. Give the student an opportunity to consider other alternatives by suggesting that he or she might need some time to think it over. If the student emphatically says “no,” then respect that decision, and again leave the situation open for possible reconsideration at a later time.

If the student agrees to the referral, you may call the Center for Counseling and Student Development (831-2141) to make an appointment. In some cases, the student will prefer to make the appointment. In either case, the student’s first contact with the Center will be a screening interview in which the student and the intake counselor make decisions about the type of help needed. Intake appointments are usually scheduled within a day or two of the student’s request to be seen at the Center. Students requiring immediate help are seen on an emergency basis. You should follow up with the student at a later date to show your continued interest even if he or she did not accept your attempted referral.

What about confidentiality?
It is important for members of the University community to understand that the interviews conducted at the Center are confidential in nature. Information about those interviews or the content of such interviews cannot be released except upon a student’s written request, in circumstances which would result in clear danger to the individual or others, or as may be required by law. The Center for Counseling and Student Development adheres very strictly to this policy.

If a faculty member is interested in a student’s contact with the Center, information can best be obtained directly from the student. It should be noted that students are not bound by the same promises of confidentiality that professional psychologists are obliged to keep.

In some instances, a student may want the Center to share certain information with a faculty member. This can be done by the student giving the Center a written authorization which specifies the purpose and the content of such a disclosure.

Why might counseling be suggested to a student?
People seek counseling for many reasons, ranging from a wish to solve a long-standing problem to a desire to enhance their personal growth. To address the personal, educational and career concerns of the students, the Center offers both group and individual counseling. Students come in to discuss issues such as roommate conflicts, anxiety and stress management, depression, eating disorders, career choices, and family concerns such as divorce and alcoholism. Students may also receive psychiatric services if medication is considered essential to the treatment of their concerns.

Here are some of the common instances when counseling might be recommended to a student:

  • Fundamental or traumatic changes in personal relationships — such as death of a family member or friend, divorce or separation in the family, or pregnancy.
  • Significant changes in mood or behavior — such as withdrawal from others, asocial activity (e.g., lying, stealing), spells of unexplained crying or outbursts of anger, or unusual agitation.
  • References to suicide — since it is difficult to distinguish between serious threats or passing idle thoughts of suicide, judgment about the seriousness of a situation is best made in consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist.
  • Anxiety and depression — these are two of the more common symptoms which can significantly impair a student’s functioning.
  • Psychosomatic symptoms — concerns such as tension headaches, loss of appetite or excessive eating, insomnia or excessive sleeping, or chronic stomach distress, etc.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse — evidence of excessive drinking, drug abuse, or drug dependence is almost always indicative of psychological problems.
  • Career choice concerns — often these concerns reflect the student’s struggle to understand him/herself and the world of work. Sometimes it reflects a problem with decision-making in general.
  • Concern about academics — such as contemplating dropping out of school, worrying about possible academic failure, or considering a transfer to another school.
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