Information For Faculty/Staff

All faculty and staff are eligible for consultation regarding student related issues. Faculty & staff members who are concerned about a student’s mental health can call our office at 936.294.1720 to speak with an available counselor regarding psychological/emotional issues. Federal and state laws, as well as professional licensure regulations require that our counselors maintain confidentiality. Therefore, our counselors can neither confirm nor deny the identity of our clients. However, our counselors may be able to help faculty and staff members effectively communicate with students, provide support, and/or refer a student to the SHSU Counseling Center for services.

Tips for Recognizing Distressed Students

Marked Changes in Academic Performance or Behavior

  • Poor performance and preparation
  • Excessive absences or tardiness
  • Repeated requests for special consideration especially when this represents a change from previous functioning
  • Unusual or changed pattern of interaction
  • Avoiding participation
  • Dominating discussions
  • Excessively anxious when called upon
  • Attention/memory difficulties
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Problems with roommates or family
  • Exaggerated emotional response obviously inappropriate to the situation

Unusual Behavior or Appearance

  • Depressed or lethargic mood
  • Hyperactivity or very rapid speech
  • Swollen or red eyes
  • Change in personal hygiene or dress
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Strange or bizarre behavior indicating loss of contact with reality
  • Abrupt or radical changes in behavior
  • Overuse or regular use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and/or medication (without medical monitoring)

References to Suicide, Homicide, or Death

  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Overt references to suicide
  • Self-harm behaviors (e.g. cutting)
  • Homicidal threats

Below are several tips for having a private discussion with students who may be in distress

  • Express concern for his/her well-being and concerning behavior
  • Listen with sensitivity and understanding; paraphrase his/her comments
  • Be non-judgmental, as criticism will push him/her away from you and the help he/she needs
  • Clarify you can’t promise complete confidentiality
  • Give hope that things will get better and identify available help on campus
  • Help develop an action plan (if appropriate and desired)
  • Maintain clear teacher-student relationship boundaries and consistent academic expectations
  • Identify campus and/or community contacts and resources
  • Give referral phone numbers and locations and encourage the student to call today or soon
  • Have the student call and make an appointment in your presence (if desired by student); and/or (when appropriate) offer to go with them if that would help
  • Inform the student of what he/she can expect in terms of services and procedures at other departments
  • Follow-up with student to check how he/she is doing (if appropriate and desired)

When to call UPD

When a student's behavior becomes threatening or dangerous

  • Acts of physical aggression and intimidation, which can be either verbal, written or non-verbal
  • Threats of violence to you, a specific individual, the class, or the community

Faculty and staff seeking psychological treatment are provided referrals to off-campus providers. Services are also available through the SHSU Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Additional information can be found at or by calling the EAP’s customer service department at (800) 346-3549.

Sam Houston Counseling Center

1608 Avenue J., Box 2059  | Huntsville, TX 77341-2059  | Phone: 936.294.1720 | Fax: 936.294.2639