The role of the Counseling Center at UWB is to provide mental health related services to facilitate students’ adjustment to college and their personal and psychological growth in becoming high functioning and socially responsible adults. The Counseling Center promotes student learning about their emotional and psychological development and increase academic success by positively impacting academic and personal decision-making. Our staff work to help students resolve problems that interfere with personal, social, and academic functioning while also emphasizing prevention, development, adjustment, and wellness.
The UWB Counseling Center offers short-term counseling free of charge to students.
In order to be in compliance with Washington State Law and to insure a safe environment for students to explore their personal concerns, all counseling services are confidential. This means that our staff will not reveal the identity of students who seek our services, will not confirm or deny a student’s participation in counseling, and will not provide any details about what has been discussed in counseling without the student’s written consent. We do not give information to faculty, staff, or to other offices or departments within the university without a student’s written consent.
At that same time, the UWB Counseling Center staff wants to create a collaborative relationship with University faculty and staff. We encourage you to call the UWB Counseling Center staff to discuss any concerns you may have about a student. The counselor will discuss all available options with you and mutually decide on how to proceed.
Identifying Potential Student Problems
Faculty and staff often have the most direct contact with students and thus may be the first to notice any changes. In order to facilitate early identification of difficulties, listed below are some possible warning signs which may suggest that a student is in need of assistance.
- Excessive absences or tardiness
- Repeated requests for special consideration, especially when this represents a change from previous functioning
- Inability to concentrate
- Significant decrease in academic/work performance
- Unusual or changed pattern of behavior
- Avoiding participation or sudden withdrawal from others
- Dominating discussions
- Excessively anxious when called upon in class or staff meetings
- Exaggerated emotional responses
- Easily agitated
- Change in appearance (e.g., poor hygiene, weight gain/loss)
- Distracted or preoccupied thought processes
- Consistently inappropriate, illogical, or unrelated questions
- Speech that is disjointed, tangential, fragmented, or not based in reality
- Disruptive, verbally aggressive, or physically aggressive behavior
- Indirect statements or written essays about death or suicide (“I want to disappear,” “there’s no way out” or “I can’t go on”) as well as more direct suicidal statements (“I’ve had thoughts about hurting myself”)
The appearance of any of the above warning signs may indicate that a student is in distress. If any of these signs are observed, especially on a repeated basis within a short period of time (2 to 3 weeks), it is important to talk with the student and refer them to the Counseling Center for assistance.
How to Make a Referral to the Counseling Center
Once you recognize that a student is experiencing a pattern of concerning symptoms, you must decide when and how to address this with him/her. If preparing to speak with the student, the following are some guidelines for your interaction:
- Talk to the student in private
- Describe the behavior you have observed or the statements you have heard that caused your concern
- Express your concern for her/him in a direct, straightforward manner
- Listen carefully
- Show understanding and empathy for what they are going through
- Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental
- Consider the Counseling Center as a resource and discuss a possible referral with the student. Inform them that our services are confidential and free.
- Remember that the student has the right to accept, think over, or refuse your recommendations
- If your student turns down help and you are still concerned, it may be helpful for you to consult with a Counseling Center professional staff member by contacting the UWB CARE Team. Click here to complete a CARE Team Report.
- In a crisis, the most important things are to remain calm, make sure the student is safe, and call 911 or Campus Safety at 425.352.5222.
When Needing Consultation due to Concerns about a Student
The UWB Counseling Center staff is part of the UWB CARE Team. The most efficient step for consultation with a mental health counselor is to send a report to the CARE Team. The CARE Team report is a confidential on-line report that allows you to submit the name of the student, your name and contact information, and a brief description of your concern or consultation question. One of the CARE Team mental health counselors will respond to your CARE report within one business day. Click here to complete a CARE Team Report.