Information for staff

Staff can seek counselling services for personal or work-related matters from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  The EAP is an independent support service engaged by the University to assist employees to maintain good health and well-being and is available to all staff members of the University as well as their immediate families.

Most students come to counselling for the first time because a teacher has suggested it. So, teachers, lecturers and other staff play an essential role in providing the bridge to counselling.

When to refer a student to counselling

When someone talks to you about psychological issues and:

  • you know you don't have the resources to deal with it - skill, time, etc.
  • your gut feeling is "this is too much"
  • you are feeling manipulated by the situation or uncomfortable
  • you think the person could be suicidal
  • it's not related to you, your role at work or the course work.

When someone seems to be having a difficult time, such as:

  • struggling financially
  • needing accommodation
  • floundering
  • feeling stuck in a situation they can't seem to get out of by them-self, eg harassed
  • an issue seriously affecting their day to day life - eg. anxiety or depression
  • feeling overwhelmed by demands on them - eg. juggling school and home responsibilities
  • trying to make an important decision
  • having conflict with someone.

How to be an ACE referrer

A: Acknowledge the student's distress

  • 'I hear your distress about what's happening at home.'
  • 'That's a lot to deal with.'

C: Counselling information

  • 'I am wondering if it might be helpful to talk this through with a counsellor here?'
  • 'The University has a counselling service which is free and confidential.'

E: Encourage them to pursue counselling

  • If the person seems open to hearing more about counselling: 'Most people who go to see them say that it has been helpful.'
  • 'They can give you the time and expert attention that you deserve.'
  • 'Would you like me to give them a call and see if they're around at the moment, or give you their number to call?'