How to Help and Refer

How to Help Your Students

What to Do

  • Be available. Let your residents know that they can come to you before problems arise.
  • Be aware. Pay attention to behavior changes. Talk to the resident's roommate, if possible, to confirm there have been changes. Talk to the resident to understand what is happening.
  • Take problems seriously. Do not trivialize problems even if they seem unimportant to you. (e.g., failing grades, relationship breakup, etc.)
  • Listen. Be willing to give your time to your residents. If concerned, ask directly if they have thought of harming or killing themselves.
  • Explain options. Let your residents know there is help available for them. (e.g., Personal Counseling Center)
  • Stay available. Continue to let residents know you are available.

What NOT to Do

  • Don't try to shock or challenge. ("Yeah, right. You're not going to do it.")
  • Don't analyze the person's motives. (You're just upset, because…")
  • Don't argue or try to reason. ("You can't kill yourself, because…")
  • Don't use guilt. ("Think of how bad your parents will feel.")
  • Don't console WITHOUT listening. ("I know how you feel. I flunked chemistry, too, but everything will work out.")
  • Don't abandon the student once they are receiving professional help.

Note: Students in emotional distress should always be taken seriously. During the day, contact the Personal Counseling Center at 829-7819. In the evening or during the weekend, call Crisis Services at 834-3131.

How to Refer Someone to Counseling

  • Speak to the student with a calm, warm, and understanding manner.
  • Clearly express your concerns by giving specific examples of observable changes that you have noticed in their behavior, work, academics, relationships, or life situations. Be sure to express these concerns as observations, not judgments.
  • Reassure the student that help is available. Tell the student what services are available at the Personal Counseling Center, how to reach us, and that all services are confidential.
  • If the situation is not a crisis, let the student know that it is okay to think about using our services and that if they choose not to go you will not take it personally.
  • If the situation is a crisis, express your concern for their welfare and that you want to consult with someone that can better assist them. Then contact, the Personal Counseling Center.

Contact Us

Personal Counseling Center
Campus location: Marguerite Hall, 1st FL
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Evening Hours by Appointment
Phone: (716) 829-7819

Kim Zittel, LMHC, NCC
Director, Personal Counseling Center
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
National Certified Counselor

Erin M. Moss, MA, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Isabel Molina, APRN BC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner


  • Campus Ministry

    Our campus ministers are available for spiritual counseling and support
    Read more

  • Health Center

    The D'Youville College Health Center provides information, health counseling, and emergency treatment.
    Read more

  • Concerned?

    If you know a student who seems to be in trouble or may potentially harm themselves, report it to the Students of Concern Committee.
    Read more

  • Disabled?

    D'Youville's Disability Services Office can find you the resources you need for academic success.
    Read more

Back To Top