Student Affairs and Student Services

8 Mental Health Services and Referrals for Students


A referral for counseling should be considered when you believe a student’s problems go beyond your own experience and expertise, or when you feel uncomfortable helping a student with some issue. You might refer a student to the ED for Student Affairs (580.387.7139) because of the way the student’s problems are interfering with their academic work or with your instruction, or because observation of a student’s personal behavior raises concerns apart from their academic work.

Student Affairs staff are available to consult with students and faculty around a variety of mental health-related issues such as: Concerns about the welfare/mental health of a particular student

  • Concerns about the college community’s reaction to a traumatic event
  • Suggestions/help on how to refer someone for services


Signs of Concern

  • Marked decline in the quality of a student’s coursework and/or class participation; increased absence from class and/or failure to turn in work
  • Prolonged depression, suggested by a sad expression, apathy, weight loss, sleeping difficulty, tearfulness
  • Nervousness, agitation, excessive worry; irritability, aggressiveness, non-stop talking
  • Bizarre, strange behavior or speech
  • Extreme dependency on faculty/staff, including spending much of their time visiting during office hours or at other times
  • Marked change in personal hygiene
  • Direct statements indicating family problems, including personal losses such as the death of a family member or the break-up of a relationship
  • Expressions of concern about a student by peers
  • Talk of suicide, either directly or indirectly such as, “I won’t be around to take that exam anyway? Or “I’m not worried about getting a job; I won’t need one”
  • Comments in a student’s paper that arouse concern

Everyone experiences stress differently, and many disturbances may be relatively transient. However, you may become alarmed by even brief changes that are extreme or by significant changes that continue for some time. If there is doubt about the seriousness of the problem, you are encouraged to consult Student Affairs at 580.387.7139.


How to Refer a Student 

If a student agrees that counseling might be useful, there are several steps to take, depending on the urgency of the situation.

  • Direct the student to call Student Affairs at 580.387.7139 for immediate referral.
  • Accompany the student to the Office of Student Affairs- Housing Office
  • If you don’t expect to speak to a student in-person (e.g., only through emails), or you have an urgent concern, the Executive Director of Student Affairs can reach out to him/her in a more active way.


Working with Students Yourself

In some cases, students who seek your help may work more effectively with you rather than being referred to counseling. Your willingness to listen is very important to those students. You may also choose to work with the students on improving their academic work without focusing on the psychological issues that underlie the behavior. You can always consult Student Affairs on how to best handle either of these approaches.


Students’ Confidentiality

We treat all of our contacts with students confidentially and in accordance with State of Oklahoma mental health regulations governing our professional professions. We adhere to the HIPAA laws which further ensure that student’s protected health information is properly managed. We can disclose that a student is receiving psychological services/has followed through with a referral only if the students signs an authorization giving us permission to do so. We can release information without a student’s written consent only in those circumstances in which there is imminent danger to the student or to others; in cases of child or elder abuse; when court-ordered to do so; or when otherwise required by law.

Our Commitment

We will do everything within our power to listen to your needs, evaluate your special situation, and then implement the best available strategy to meet your overall college needs.


Murray State College Student Handbook 2023-2024 Copyright © 2023 by Murray State College Academic and Student Affairs. All Rights Reserved.