Faculty / Staff / Parent Resources

Quick Links

Faculty and Staff Parents
Handbooks on Assisting Distressed Students Handouts and Guides
Tips on Making a Referral to Counseling Books & Websites
When to Call for Help Parent Resources: Alcohol and Other Drugs
National Crisis Numbers Parent Resources: Disordered Eating
Helpful Links Parent Resources: Mood Disorders
Recommended Reading Parent Resources: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Questioning
CSU Campus Specific Resources and Phone Numbers Parent Resources: Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Tips for Reporting on Suicide (for all) Parent Resources: Family-related Issues
Reporting on Suicide: Recommendations for the Media Parent Resources: Suicide Risk / Surviving Loss Due to Suicide
  Miscellaneous Videos


Faculty and Staff Resources

Faculty and Staff Handbooks on Assisting Distressed Students

Guide to Helping a Distressed Student, CSU Bakersfield

Tips for Faculty/Staff and How to Assist Emotionally Distressed Students, CSU Chico

Helping Students in Distress, CSU East Bay

Recognizing Distressed Students and Guidelines for Dealing with Distressed Students, Fresno State University

Helping Students in Distress: A Faculty and Staff Guide for Assisting Students in Need, Cal State Fullerton

Guide to Classroom Management: The Emotionally Troubled Student, Humboldt State University

Faculty Guide: Assisting the Emotionally Distressed Student, CSU Long Beach

Helping Emotionally Distressed Students: The Role of Faculty and Staff, Cal State Monterey Bay

Assisting Students in Distress, CSU Northridge

Helping the Emotionally Distressed Student: A Guide for Faculty and Staff, Cal Poly Pomona

Faculty and Staff Guide for Responding to Distressed and Distressing Students, CSU San Bernadino

Enhancing Communication & Working with the Emotionally Distressed Student, San Diego State University

How to Assist the Emotionally Distressed Student, San Francisco State University

Managing Disruptive Behaviors and De-Escalating Aggressive Behaviors, San José State University

Faculty Guide: Assisting the Emotionally Distressed Student, Cal Poly SLO

Helping Students in Distress, Sonoma State University

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Tips on Making a Referral to Counseling Services

During the course of your career, you will likely come across students that display unusual or concerning behavior, as well as students who share their emotional and/or psychological problems or distress. In cases where you think the student's behavior is impairing his/her academic performance or the performance of others, and/or you believe professional help is otherwise warranted, you may want to initiate a conversation with the student. During the meeting, you will want to:

  • Identify the behaviors that concern you
  • Be respectful, direct, and matter of fact. Talk about your concerns without minimizing or exaggerating them. Be straight-forward about your intentions, for example, that you believe professional help could be very helpful. It is helpful to be knowledgeable in advance about the counseling services for your particular campus. Looking at the counseling website together can be helpful. Remind the student that counseling services are confidential.
  • If you have reason to suspect the student may be having thoughts of suicide, ask about it in a calm and direct matter. Remain non-judgmental. Never promise confidentiality in such cases.
  • Let the student be "in the driver's seat" in making the final decision about counseling. If the student declines a referral for counseling, and you are concerned about suicide or other safety issues, it is best to contact the Dean of Students or Counseling Services for advice. If suicide risk is high (e.g., the student expressed immediate desire and intent to end his/her life), dial 9-1-1 for immediate assistance. Campus police are trained to assess the situation.
    • If the student agrees to a referral, you can either leave it to the student to make an appointment, call the counseling center to give them a "heads up" the student is coming in immediately, let the student call the counseling center while he/she is still in your office, or walk the student over to counseling services yourself. The latter choice is the best one to make if you have any concerns about the student's safety or you think the student may lose momentum to follow through with his/her decision if s/he doesn't act immediately.

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When to Call for Help

The following behaviors indicate that the student is in crisis and needs emergency care. In these cases, it is best to stay calm, call 9-1-1, inform your supervisor and the appropriate Student Affairs officer (such as the Dean of Students).

  • Highly disruptive behavior (aggression, hostility, etc.)
  • Threat of violence
  • Threat of suicide; overt suicidal thoughts or gestures
  • Inability to communicate clearly (incoherence, garbled or slurred speech, disjointed or strange thoughts)
  • Apparent loss of contact with reality (e.g., hearing things that are not there, odd beliefs or actions)

The following behaviors indicate that the student may be in distress and need help. Consider consulting with a therapist at your counseling center, making a referral to the counseling center, and/or involving the Dean of Students or Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

  • Emotions
    • Depressed, apathetic, or agitated mood (especially if it seems out of character)
    • Excessive crying
    • Inappropriate or exaggerated emotional reactions to situations
    • Excessive activity or talkativeness; grandious or elated mood
  • Behavior
    • Marked change in appearance or hygiene; scent of alcohol or marijuana on breath or clothing
    • Disruptive behaviors that make it difficult for you to manage your role or classroom
    • Change in interpersonal interactions (e.g., avoiding or dominating discussions)
    • Difficulty staying awake in class
  • Academics
    • Poor academic performance that is unexpected, especially a change from high to low grades
    • Excessive absences, especially if prior class attendance was good
    • Repeated attempts to postpone tests or assignment deadlines
    • Unusally morbid or violent themes on class projects (papers or artwork)

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National Crisis Numbers

Suciide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK)

Suicide Prevention Hotline 877-727-4747

Sexual Assault

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline

National Sexaul Assault Phone Hotline: 800-656-4673 (800-656-HOPE)

Domestic Violence

Natilonal Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 (800-799-SAFE) or 800-787-3224 (TYY)

Helpful Links

California Mental Health Services Authority

suicide is preventableSuicide is Preventable: Know the Signs

Disability Rights California

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Recommended Reading

Benton, S.A. & Benton, S.L. (2006). College student mental health: Effective services and strategies across campus. National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Inc.

Kadison, R. & DiGeronimo, T.F. (2004). College of the overwhelmed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Skalski, Anastasia and Smith, Marta (2006). Responding to the Mental Health Needs of Students. From NASP online.

The Reach Institute: The "Action Signs" Project: A toolkit to help parents, educators, and health professionals identify children at behavioral and emotional risk. The toolkit was developed under a contract with SAMHSHA/HHS.

Worthington, E.L. (1982). When someone asks for help: A practical guide for counseling. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Key Phone Numbers within the California State University System: for Psychological and Behavioral Problems and Crises

CSU Campus
Campus Police


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616-654-2394 661-654-2111

Services for Students w/ Disabilities 661-654-3360

Student Rights & Responsilibities 661-654-2680


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805-437-8828 805-437-8444 Student Support Svcs 805-437-3560

Veterans Affairs 805-437-2745 Title IX Coordinator 805-437-8425


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530-898-5241 530-898-5555 Safe Place (Rape Crisis) 530-898-3030 Butte County Crisis Line 530-891-2810


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310-243-3629 310-243-3639 Suicide Prevention Hotline 877-727-4747 Rape Crisis Hotline 562-597-2002


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510-885-3735 510-885-3791 Academic Affairs 510-885-3711 Accessibility Svcs 510-885-3868 Student Development & Judicial Affairs 510-885-4740


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559-278-2734 559-278-8400 Exodus Recovery Stabilization Center 559-512-8335 Central Valley Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-888-506-5991
CSU Campus
Campus Police


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657-278-2800 657-278-3040 Dean of Students 657-278-3211 Title IX Diversity and Inclusion 657-278-4702


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707-826-5555 (non-emergency)

9-1-1 or 707-826-5023 (emergency)

Dean of Students 707-826-3504

Student Rights & Responsibilities 707-826-3504

North Coast Rape Crisis 707-443-2737; Humboldt Co Dept of Mental Health (psychiatric emergencies): 707-476-4094


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562-985-4771 562-985-4101 Dean of Students 562-985-8670 Student Services 562-985-5587


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323-343-3300 323-343-3700 Student Affairs & Judicial Affairs Officer 323-343-3103 Rape Crisis, East LA Women's Center 800-585-6231


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707-654-1170 707-654-1176, If urgent 654-1111 Dean of Students 707-654-1182 Administration 707-654-1176


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831-582-3965 831-582-0268 Dean of Students 831-582-4091  
CSU Campus
Campus Police


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818-677-3666 818-677-2100 Dean of Students / Student Affairs 818-677-2391 Suicide Prevention 877-727-4747


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909-869-3220 909-869-3070

Ombuds Office 909-869-2286 PolyCARES 909-869-3399

Judicial Affairs 909-869-6990


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916-278-6461 916-278-6851 Student Affairs 916-278-6060 Residential Life Coordinator on Duty 916-869-4382


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909-537-5241 San Bernadino Co. Crisis Response Team (mental health crises) 909-421-9233    


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619-594-5281 619-594-1991 Center for Student Rights & Responsibilities 619-594-3069 San Diego Access & Crisis LIne 888-724-7240


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415-338-2208 or TDD is 415-338-4321


415-338-1251 415-338-7200 SF Suicide Prevention 415-781-0500  
CSU Campus
Campus Police


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408-924-5910 (press 4 for after hour emergencies)


408-924-6122 408-924-2222 Santa Clara County Suicide & Crisis Service (24 hours) 855-278-4204 SJSU Crisis Assessment & Intervention Team (non-emergency) 408-924-5900


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805-756-1211 805-756-2281 Dean of Students 805-756-0327 Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities 805-756-2794 SAFER (Sexual Assault Resources) 805-756-2282


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760-750-4915 760-750-4567 Dean of Students 760-750-4935 Student Outreach & Referral (SOAR) Office 760-750-7627 San Deigo Co. Crisis Line 888-724-7240


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707-664-2921 707-664-4444 Chief Student Affairs Officer 707-664-2838 Sonoma Co. Crisis Line 707-576-8181


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209-667-3396 209-667-3114 Dean of Students / Student Affairs Office 209-667-3177 Compliance Officer (Title IX concerns) 209-667-3006

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Parent Resources

General Tips & Resources for Parents of University Students

Handouts and Guides

Communication Tips for Parents, American Psychological Association

Director of Student Health and Counseling Service's Welcome Message to Parents, CSU San Marcos

Family Resource Guide for Supporting College Student Wellness and Mental Health, Cal Poly Pomona

Family Transitions: Healthy Good-Byes and New Beginnings (ppt), CSU Chico

Improving Mental Health in Young Adults and Teens, by Angela Lambert, July 2014.

Information for Parents & Family, Sonoma State University

Parent and Student Concerns About Going to College (pdf), CSU Chico

Parent Resources, including Helpful Tips and Communicating Effectively, San Diego State University

Resources for Parents, CSU Northridge

Resources for Parents & Family, CSU Channel Islands

Tips for Parents from Cal State Monterey Bay

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Coburn, Karen Levin and Treeger, Madge Lawrence, Letting Go (Fifth Edition): A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, Harper Perennial, 2009

Kadison, Richard and DiGeronimo, Theresa Foy, College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It, Jossey-Bass, 2005

Koocher, Gerald and La Greca, Annette, The Parents' Guide to Psychological First Aid: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Predictable Life Crises, Oxford University Press, 2010


Affordable Colleges Foundation: no-cost technology and affordability resource for students

College Affordability Guide: Information on making college education more affordable. Includes Competence-Based Education (MOOCs and Independent Learning), Affordable Degree Programs, List of Affordable Schools, etc.

College Parents Central: Information for the Parents of College Students: Information for parents on your helping your children through the college experience, including preparation, transition, adjustment, and completion.

College Parents of America: a membership organization comproised of current and future college parents. The mission is to assist families in the successful preparation, transition, adjustment and completion through college.

College Tips for Parents: tips and vital news for parents of college kids or high school seniors

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization; advocates for access to services, treatment, supports, and research. NAMI works in local communities to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.

Natonal Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition: a leader and clearinghouse for policies and best practices for all postsecondary student transitions. Includes several online courses and publications.

Supporting Family and Friends, webpage of Mental Health America

The Reach Institute: The "Action Signs" Project: A toolkit to help parents educators and health professionals identify children at behavioral and emotional risk. The toolkit was developed under a contract with SAMHSHA/HHS.

Your College Kid: articles, practial pointers, forum groups, etc.

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Resources for Parents of Individuals with Alcohol or Other Drug Issues

A Guide to Keeping Kids Drug Free

The US Department of Education's Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention

Resources for Parents of Individuals with Disordered Eating

Costin, Carolyn, Your Dieting Daughter: Antidotes Parents can Provide for Body Dissatisfaction, Excessive Dieting, and Disordered Eating, Routledge, 2013

Natenshon, Abigail H., When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Parents and Other Caregivers, Jossey-Bass, 1999

Parent Toolkit from National Eating Disorder Association: understand more about how to support a family member or friend affected by an eating disorder

NationalEatingDisorders.org: offers many useful resources for parents on the topic of Eating Disorders, including a Parent, Family & Friends Network, with free webinars and support programs and a "Making Connections Magazine"

Resources for Parents of Individuals with Mood Disorders

The Balanced Mind Parent Network-- A program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support, and stability they seek.

Mondimore, Francis Mark, Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families (2nd Edition), John Hopkins University Press, 2006

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance-- resources for family, friends, peers

Resources for Parents of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, & Questioning Individuals

Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere: COLAGE; organization providing information and advocacy for children of an LGBTQ parent

Family Equality Council: organization supporting LGBTQ parents and families

Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: PFLAG-- organization supports LGBTQ individuals and their families

Proud Parenting: general interest site for LGBTQ parents

My princess boy: Acceptance of the male image: Cheryl Kilodavis. A mother's story of learning to accept her son's differences (video)

Resources for Parents of Individuals with Psychosis / Schizophrenia

Kaye, Randye, Ben Behind His Voices: One Family's Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011

Resources to Help with Family-Related Issues

Children and Divorce: Helping Kids After a Break-Up, Mayo Clinic

When a Parent has a Mental Illness: Issues and Challenges, article from Mental Health America

Resources for Families of Individuals at Risk for, or Who Completed, Suicide

The Connect Program

Miscellaneous Videos

Robert D'Angelo + Francesca Fedeli: In our baby's illness, a life lesson (a TED talk): The couple discovered their 10 day old baby, Maryo, had experienced a perinatal stroke. With Mario unable to control the left side of his body, they grappled with tough questions: Would he be "normal?" and Could he lead a full life? The poignant story of parents facing their fears-- and how they turned them around.

Faith Jegede: What I've learned from my autistic brothers (a TED talk): The funny and moving story of growing up with two autistic brothers

My princess boy: Acceptance of the male image: Cheryl Kilodavis. A mother's story of learning to accept her son's differences


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