Referral Guidance

Standing on ArrowsThe purpose of this page is to introduce Northern Michigan University Counseling and Consultation Services, to offer assistance for faculty and staff in recognizing psychologically distressed students, to provide some useful tips for utilizing appropriate services, and to furnish a list of additional community resources.

NMU Counseling and Consultation Services provides personal counseling and testing for all NMU students free of charge. Our mission is to maintain and enhance students' psychological and emotional well-being so they can successfully achieve their academic goals. Appropriate reasons to see a counselor at the Center include depression or "blues," self-destructive thoughts, anxiety, traumatic experiences, homesickness, trouble in relationships, substance problems, problematic eating patterns, and low self-esteem.

Since students often seek out faculty and staff to share their distress, you may be the first one to notice changes in students which could signal psychological distress. Some changes in behaviors and moods that suggest psychological distress are:

  • Withdrawing from social interactions
  • Increase in use of substances
  • Increased tendency to get into arguments with others
  • Indiscriminate sexual involvement with multiple partners
  • Increase in other risk-taking behaviors
  • Missing classes
  • Inability to concentrate and lethargic mood
  • Falling GPA
  • Any self-destructive behaviors
  • Becoming very pessimistic or hopeless in topics of conversation
  • Preoccupation with, or references to, death (suicide or homicide)
  • Weight loss or gain or changes in sleep patterns (up all hours of the day or night, or excessive sleeping)
  • Unusual or bizarre responses like talking off the subject or rambling

The more symptoms observed, the more likely the individual is to be truly distressed. Appropriate actions to take with distressed students include:

  • Check it out. Ask the student how he/she is "I'm worried about you." "I'm wondering what's going on that might be upsetting you."
  • Reinforce the person for confiding in you and maintain a nonjudgmental and accepting manner.
  • Acknowledge and empathize with the student's pain, and give the student time to express him/herself.
  • When the problem requires more than general support and encouragement, indicate in a gentle but direct manner that professional assistance is a positive step.
  • Any type of message about suicide should be taken seriously. If you believe a student is in imminent danger of harming him/herself, immediately contact NMU Public Safety at 911.
  • If you are hearing statements or hints about suicide from a student, keep in mind that professionals assess suicide potential, in part, by asking if the person has a plan for suicide. They ask exactly how it will happen and when they intend to carry out the plan. They also ask if the person has ever attempted suicide in the past. The more specific and lethal the plan, the more recent a previous attempt, and the greater the ability to carry out the plan, the higher the risk for an actual suicide.
  • It is appropriate for any campus professional to ask these questions. Many students think about suicide as a way to resolve overwhelming problems. They may just need a chance to talk about the feelings, and some hope that the problems can be solved.

Note: When referring students for counseling, if the student has ingested any dangerous substance, or if the student is impaired due to a substance, refer him/her to community hospital resources at 228-9440 or NMU Public Safety at 227-2151. When and on-campus student seems to be at risk for self-destructive behavior patterns you can also inform Housing and Residence Life so they can address the problem in the residence hall.

Talk with the student in private, if possible. Inform the student about the confidential, free counseling services. Have the phone number ready (227-2981).

Possible Statement: "It sounds as though you have been under stress, aren't doing very well, and need to talk with someone about this. I would suggest you see someone at the Counseling and Consultation Services. I could call and help you make arrangements right now. What do you think about that?"

You can also show the student our web page titled "Student's Guide to Counseling and Consultation Services" with all the information a student needs to understand what to expect from the center.

When you or the student contacts the CCS by phone we will ask the student to come to our office to do some paperwork and make an appointment. We will schedule the student for the next available appointment. Referrals do not guarantee that the student will become a client of the CCS since it is the student's responsibility to attend the appointment once it is scheduled. Due to our responsibility to maintain confidentiality, we are unable to provide information to the referring staff member about the student's client status.

Note: Counseling and Consultation Services does not contact students to encourage them to come in for counseling. Sometimes a friend or staff member comes along to offer support, but the student with the problem is the one who signs the consent form and chooses counseling. Counseling is a safe, trusting relationship that empowers clients and facilitates healthy choice making for the future.

Counseling and Consultation Services provides consultation for any staff member who needs assistance with:

  • Assessing the seriousness of a situation
  • Clarifying your own concerns and feelings about the situation
  • Choosing an effective approach for interacting with the student
  • Identifying the best way to facilitate the student's use of counseling services

If you are in an emotional crisis, please do not rely on e-mail for help.  Come to the Counseling Center (227-2981) on the top floor of Hedgcock, room 3405. If in doubt, ask a counselor if counseling or further personal consultation might be beneficial for your specific concern or situation. If you are in crisis and need emergency services after hours, call Public Safety at 227-2151 or Marquette General Hospital at 228-9440.

(All numbers listed here are in the 906 area code)

General Counseling
Bell Behavioral Services 249-9002
Marquette General Hospital CARES 225-3994
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
Catholic Social Services 228-8630
Lutheran Social Services 226-7410
Private Practitioners Consult Yellow Pages or Counseling Center staff
Specialized Services
AIDS information, support and/or confidential testing 475-7651 or 1-800-872-AIDS
NMU Health Center 227-2355
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
MGH CARES 225-3994
AA, Al-Anon and Local Support Groups Check local listings or call 226-2693
Assertiveness Training
Women’s Center 225-1346
Birth Control
NMU Health Center 227-2357
Marquette County Health Department 475-7844
Planned Parenthood 225-5070
Career Guidance
Academic and Career Advisement Center 227-2971
Child Abuse
Family Independence Agency 228-9691
Death of a Friend or Relative
MGH Department of Pastoral Care 225-7540
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
Area Churches Consult the local phone directory
Depression and Suicide
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Bell Behavioral Services 249-9002
Marquette General Hospital 228-9440 or 225-3994
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
Marquette General Hospital 228-9440
Disability Concerns
Student Support and Disability Services 227-1550
Dean of Students Office 227-1700
Michigan Rehabilitation Services 226-6578
Domestic Violence
NMU Public Safety 227-2151
Police Emergency 911
Women’s Center 225-1346
Harbor House 226-6611
Eating Disorders
Marquette General Hospital CARES 225-3994
Emergencies
NMU Public Safety 227-2151
Marquette General Hospital 228-9440
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Community Police 911
Employment Concerns (Student)
JOBSearch Center 227-2800
Financial Aid and Student Employment 227-2327
Family Problems
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Bell Behavioral Services 249-9002
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
MGH CARES 225-3994
Area Churches Consult the local phone directory
Financial Problems
Financial Aid 227-2327
Consumer Counseling Credit Services 228-5505
Health Concerns
NMU Health Center 227-2355
Private Physicians Consult the local phone directory
Homesickness
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Incest
Women’s Center 225-1346
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
MGH CARES 225-3994
Infant Mental Health
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
MGH CARES 225-3994
International Student Concerns 227-2510
Learning Disabilities
Student Support and Disability Services 227-1550
Dean of Students 227-1700
Legal Problems
Legal Services of Northern Michigan 228-5620
Pregnancy
Planned Parenthood 225-5070
Pregnancy Services 228-7750
NMU Health Center 227-2355
Premarital, Marital Concerns
Bell Behavioral Services 249-9002
Catholic Social Services 228-8630
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
MGH CARES 225-3994
Physical Abuse
NMU Public Safety 227-2151
Central Dispatch 911
Women’s Center 225-1346
Harbor House 226-6611
Rape, Date Rape and Sexual Assault
NMU Public Safety 227-2151
Women’s Center 225-1346
Central Dispatch 911
MGH CARES 225-3994
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
Relationship Problems
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Campus Ministries Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Resume Writing and Interviewing
JOBSearch Center 227-2800
Sexual and Gender Concerns
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Bell Behavioral Services 249-9002
MGH CARES 225-3994
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
PFLAG 228-6653
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
NMU Health Center 227-2355
Marquette County Health Department 475-7848
AIDS Hotline 475-7651
Wellness Network Hotline 1-800-872-AIDS
Smoking Concerns
Marquette County Health Department 475-7848
American Lung Association 228-9833
Spiritual Concerns
Campus Ministries Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Area Churches Consult the local phone directory
Stress and Anxiety
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
MGH CARES 225-3994
Student Organizations and Activities
Student Activities & Leadership Programs 227-2439
Commuter and Nontraditional Student Concerns
Dean of Students 227-1700
Study Skills and Time Management
Academic and Career Advisement Center 227-2971
Student Support Services 227-1550
Residence Hall Academic Programmers 227-2620
Suicide / Emotional Crisis
Pathways 225-7250 or 1-888-728 4929
MGH CARES 225-3994
Test Anxiety
Academic and Career Advisement Center 227-2971
Residence Hall Directors and Advisers Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Residence Hall Academic Programmers 227-2620
TESTING Academic and Career Advisement Center 227-2971
Tutoring
Academic Departments Consult NMU's print or online phone directory
Student Supportive Services 227-1550
All Campus Tutoring (Academic Year) 227-2618
Residence Hall Academic Programmers 227-2620
Veterans
Veteran Student Services 227-1713
Withdrawal-Registrar’s Office 227-2322
Women’s Concerns
Women’s Center 225-1346
services