You may need to help the student recognize and understand
that his or her problems require more extensive assistance. Your task
will be to help the student overcome fears of, or resistances to, seeking
Some ways of communicating your support are:.
"We all need some kind of help at some time, even
if it's only talking to someone who can listen without criticism or
"It's a sign of increasing maturity when a person knows it's time
to seek some help.".
"It takes strength and courage to ask for help.".
"Sometimes if you're unsure of what you really want to do, that creates
tension and stress inside you.".
"The professional services at the College are free and totally confidential.
Nothing goes in your record. Nobody can find out what you would be
"Counseling has been helpful to others like yourself. You can try
it and see if it helps.".
Remind the student that
all counseling is confidential. If the student is still reluctant,
offer to call a counselor or to escort the student to the counselor's
office. Should the student feel threatened by your offer, do not
pursue it. You can contact the counselor yourself and discuss the
situation in confidence.
If the student accepts your
suggestion, give the student the room and phone number of the Personal
Counseling (0203 James Hall, 951-5363).
If the problem seems urgent,
immediately contact the center Director (Dr. Kuhlman) or another
member of the personal counseling staff to let us know who you have
referred and your assessment of urgency. Often, students do not
communicate the urgency of their problem to the receptionist and
may not be given an immediate appointment unless they do so.
Walk the student to the
Personal Counseling , 0203 James Hall.
Bear in mind that a student
need not be in crisis for you to refer him or her for counseling.
A problem need not be overwhelming to have a negative impact on
the student's academic performance. Any problem that is affecting
the student's classroom behavior is sufficient reason
Once referred to a counselor, an assessment will be
done to determine whether the student can be seen on campus for crisis
intervention or short-term counseling. If long-term counseling is necessary,
the student will be referred to an appropriate treatment service (low-cost,
Students in crisis require prompt attention. A student
who is violent, physically hurt, overly distraught, or enraged may be
considered a student in crisis.
Notify the appropriate offices
of the College--the Personal Counseling (0203 James Hall, 951-5363),
the Dean of Student Affairs (2113 Boylan Hall, 951-5352) and Security
(0202 Ingersoll Hall, 951-5511, 5512)--for assistance. You may want
to familiarize yourself with the locations of these offices in advance
so that you will know where to go in an emergency situation.
Maintain control of the situation
by staying in communication with the student.
Be aware of your own tolerance
limits. Monitor your own ability to stay calm. If you feel you are
going to panic, get someone else quickly:
(1) Notify your supervisor;
(2) Notify Security (0202 Ingersoll Hall, 951-5511,
(3) Contact Personal Counseling (0203 James
Overly Agitated or Enraged
Student in Your Office
Students whose emotions have overwhelmed their capacity
to act appropriately require time to ventilate their emotions before
they can regain control. When you encounter such a person, try to do
Allow the student to
express his or her feelings and do not attempt to use logic to calm
him or her down. A few supportive comments from you are adequate.
(For more information on handling this type of situation, see
Preventing Violence, available at the Center.).
Do not ask too many questions
but try to ascertain the facts of the student's distress.
When the student has calmed
down, make a referral as soon as possible. If the student has not
regained control by the time help arrives, determine if you should
step aside in favor of the people who have responded to your call
If the student does not
regain control while in your office call the Personal Counseling
(0203 James Hall, 951-5363), the Dean for Student Life (2113 Boylan
Hall, 951-5352) and Security (0202 Ingersoll Hall, 951-5511, 5512)
If there is any indication
of danger, leave your office immediately. (Do not ignore your "gut"
feeling.) Try to walk the student to Security (0202 Ingersoll Hall,
951-5511, 5512) or Personal Counseling (0203 James Hall, 951-5363).
Suggest that you both go together.
Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom
A student's disruptive behavior may be due to different
causes. The student may be hostile and confrontational as a defense
against his/ her fear of failure. In this case the student regards the
instructor as the obstacle to performing well. A second cause may be
the student's regressing to an earlier pattern of behavior as an (unconscious)
attempt to alleviate his/her anxiety. Finally, the student's disruptive
remarks or movement in class may be a symptom of an underlying emotional
disturbance which s/he can no longer manage as the demands on the student
become too great.
It is important to determine what may be the cause
of the student's behavior. If you believe s/he is making you an "enemy"
to deal with a fear of failure, it is necessary to reassure the student
that you want him/her to do well, and that you know that being a student
can be demanding. Should you conclude that the student is regressing
under stress, remind him/her that you are willing to help, while gently
asking that the student accept the responsibility of behaving appropriately
in class. If you decide that the student's disruptive behavior is the
result of a severe emotional disorder, escort the student to the Personal
Counseling (0203 James Hall, 951-5363) or Security (0202 Ingersoll Hall,
Here are some suggestions for escorting a disruptive
Ask the student to leave
the class with you and take him/her to a place where it is quiet
and there is protection for you. You might escort the student to
the Personal Counseling and Center (0203 James Hall, 951-5363) or
Security (0202 Ingersoll Hall, 951-5511, 5512).
Choose your words carefully.
Be supportive but firm. In asking the student to leave the class
with you, you might say, "I need to ask you to come with me where
we can talk." Continue to speak in a calm and reassuring manner,
saying, "I'm sure we can work this out," or something similar.
Keep moving away from
the classroom at a measured rate and with the belief that the student
will follow you. If the student does not follow, go directly to
the Personal Counseling (0203 James Hall, 951-5363) or Security
(0202 Ingersoll Hall, 951-5511, 5512) for assistance.
When you get to a quiet
and protected place, initiate conversation by asking how you can
help or by asking what just happened.
All suicide threats or implied threats should be
taken seriously. Bring the student to the Personal Counseling
and Career Services Center (0203 James Hall, 951-5363) or, if the center
is not open, refer the student to a suicide prevention hotline (212-673-3000)
or any hospital emergency room.
Important Phone Numbers
at Brooklyn College
Safety and Security Office 951-5511
Personal Counseling 951-5363
Dean of Student Affairs 951-5352
Brooklyn College Emergency Medical Service 951-5858
Brooklyn College Student Health Clinic 951-5580
Dean of Undergraduate Studies 951-5771
Dean of Graduate Studies 951-5252
DES/SEEK Counseling 951-5931
Women's Center 951-5777.
Battered Women and Co-Dependency
Domestic Violence Hotline
(Coalition for Abused Women) (1 800) 942 6906
En Espanol (1 800) 942 6908
Families of Alcoholics (CARES) (1 800) 984 0066
Nar Anon (212) 496 4341
NY Asian Women's Center
(Asian Battered Women) (212) 732 5230
Violence Intervention Program
(Latin Battered Women) (800) 572 2782
Children / Child Abuse
Child Abuse Hotline (1-800) 342-3720
American Red Cross (Disaster Services) (212) 787 1000
Domestic Violence Hotline (1 800) 942 6906
En Espanol (1 800) 942 6908
Parent Helpline (212) 472 8555
Poison Hotline (212) 340 4494
Special Victims Unit, Manhattan (212) 694 3010
Helpline (212) 532-2400
Suicide Hotlines (212) 673 3000
Victims Services Agency Hotline (212) 577 7777
Food / Nutrition.
Food and Hunger Hotline (877) 472 8411
City Harvest Hunger Hotline (866) 888 8777
Food Stamp Information (877) 472 8411
HIV Services and Information.
National AIDS Hotline (1 800) 342 2437
NYC Dept. Of Health AIDS Hotline (212) 447 8200
Gay Men's Health Crisis Hotline (212) 807 6655
Housing and Shelter.
Covenant House (under 21 years of age) (212) 727 4000
Covenant House (for children in need of housing) (212) 613 0300
Homeless Hotline (1 800) 994 6494
Brooklyn Mental Health Emergency Resources.
Bedford Stuyvesant/Crown Heights area:
Interfaith Hospital, Psychiatric Emergency (718) 613 4195
Borough Park area:
Maimonides Community Health Center (718) 283 8106
Canarsie / Flatlands area:
Kings County Hospital, Psychiatric Emergency (718) 245 3131
Brookdale Medical Center, Psych. Emergency (718) 240 5761
Woodhull Hospital, Psychiatric Emergency (718) 963 8439
Health Science Center at Brooklyn (718) 270 1000
Heat Line 311
Mayor's Actionline (City services complaints) 311
Medicaid Information (877) 472 8411
Missing Persons 911
Rape / Sexual Assault.
Bellevue Hospital Rape Crisis Program (212) 562 3435
Crime Victims Hotline (212) 577 7777
NYC Sex Crimes Report Line (212) 267 RAPE
Columbia Presbyterian Hospital,
Rape Crisis Intervention Program (212) 305 9060
New York Hospital Rape Crisis Program (212) 746 3104
St.Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Rape Crisis Program. (212) 604 8068
St.Vincent's Hospital Rape Crisis Program (212) 604 8068
National Runaway Switchboard (1 800) Runaway (800-786-2929)
Substance Abuse / Compulsive Disorders
AA in Spanish (212) 348 2644
Alcoholics Anonymous (718) 339 4777
Alcohol Hotline (212) 252-7022
Cocaine Abuse Hotlines (1 800) COCAINE
Compulsive Gambling 1 800) 522 4700
Crack Hotline/NYS Dept. of Health (212) New York or 311
National Council on Alcoholism (1 800) NCA CALL
National Institute on Drugs (1 800) 662 HELP
Overeaters Anonymous (212) 946 4599
Substance Abuse (1 800) 488-3784; (1-800) 622-2255
Women's Health / Family Planning.
Planned Parenthood at the Margaret Sanger Center (212) 274-7200
Pregnancy Healthline (212) New York or 311
Teen Pregnancy Networks Staten Island (718) 447-7666
Welfare / ADC.
Welfare, food stamps, heat assistance
Medicaid (212) New York or 311
Much of the material in this guide was originally adapted
from "How to Identify, Counsel and Refer Students Who Need Special Help,"
prepared by Dr. Matthew Lanna and the Counseling Center Staff of Mercy
College, and used with the permission of Dr. Rhea Riso, Director of
the Counseling Staff.
It was further adapted with permission (of Dr. Robert
DeLucia, Counseling Director) from "How to Identify, Assist and Refer
Students with Emotional Problems and/or Disruptive Behavior," edited
by Dr. Philip Bonifacio, Counseling Department, Division of Student
Development, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University
of New York, 445 West 59th Street, New York, New York 10019.
Revised November 2007. Resources updated 2005.
Direct comments, corrections, suggestions to:
Prof. Gregory A. Kuhlman, Director
0203 James Hall, Brooklyn College 2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889.