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Referring a student

UMKC’s Counseling Center is dedicated to helping students achieve academic success, personal growth and balance in their lives. However, there are many students who do not know of our services are too embarrassed to seek the Center’s services alone, even when help is needed. If you are a faculty or staff member and concerned about a student’s well-being, refer the student to the Counseling Center.


How to make a successful referral

  • Talk to the student in private. Give the student your undivided attention and allow them to speak freely about their feelings.
  • Be direct and nonjudgmental. Express your sincere concern for the student’s welfare. For example, "I've noticed you've been absent from class lately, and I'm concerned," rather than "Why have you missed so much class lately?".
  • Listen sensitively. Listen to thoughts and feelings in a sensitive, non-threatening way. Communicate understanding by repeating back the essence of what the student has told you. For example, "It sounds like you're not accustomed to such an urban campus and you're feeling lost."
  • Refer. Tell the student that help is available, and emphasize that seeking help is a sign of strength. Provide the Counseling Center’s phone number (816-235-1635) or help them make the call and offer to accompany the student to the Center for their initial appointment. If a student is resistant and you are still concerned, contact the Counseling Center about your referral.
  • Follow up. Check in with the student to find out how he or she is doing, and provide support as appropriate. However, unless a student provides a written Release of Information to speak with you, we will not be able to share any information about that student once they have become a client.

Suicidal or homicidal concerns

If you are concerned that a student is suicidal or homicidal and may be a risk to him or herself or another, direct them to the nearest emergency room for help or call 911.

Reporting incidences or patterns of distressed, disturbing or disruptive behavior

Faculty and staff are encouraged to present patterns and individual incidences of distressed, disturbing and disruptive behavior to the University’s Case Management Team (CMT).


The CMT’s goal is to develop campus wide training modules that faculty and staff can use to deal with student issues or more information or to make a referral, e-mail Jeff Traiger, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Students, or call him at 816-235-5660.