Counseling Services

As a caring educational community, we at Columbia College Chicago believe that when we are aware of any student who is in crisis, it is our responsibility to provide the student with appropriate assistance. College students often encounter a great deal of stress during the course of their academic experience. While most students cope successfully with the challenges of college life, an increasing number of students find the various pressures of these challenges unmanageable and unbearable. This guide can help you in assisting students who demonstrate and/or disclose emotional distress. Each of us has our own comfort level. Remember, do the best you can. The most important thing is that you do something.

Psychological/Behavioral Emergencies

On rare occasions, you may find yourself interacting with a student who is experiencing distress so extreme they may pose a possible danger to themselves or others. Such cases are psychological/behavioral emergencies that require immediate intervention.

Observable indications of potential immediate risk due to a psychological emergency may include:

If you believe that a student is experiencing a psychological / behavioral emergency and is at immediate risk of harming themselves or the college community call 911, then notify Campus Safety and Security at 312-369-1111. To submit an Alert, log into MyColumbia and you will see a “Student Success (EASE)” tab at the top of the page (this was formerly the EASE tab). If you intend to submit an Alert, you will be prompted to use your Single-Sign-On (SSO) credentials to access the platform. A complete guide to submitting alerts can be found here.  

Emotional / Psychological Crisis

At times you may interact with students who are experiencing an emotional / psychological crisis, and in need of immediate but not emergency intervention. Signs of an emotional / psychological crisis may include:

If you believe a student is experiencing an emotional / psychological crisis, contact or escort student to Student Relations at 312-369-8595 OR escort student to Counseling Services.

If a student is not in immediate crisis and needs support for issues that do not require immediate attention, please complete an Alert [insert hyperlink] in the Student Success Communications (SSC) platform

How do I help a student access Counseling Services?

College students often encounter a great deal of stress during the course of their academic experience. While most students cope successfully with the challenges of college life, an increasing number of students find the various pressures of these challenges unmanageable and unbearable. If you observe or have spoken to a student who is struggling in some capacity, you may want to make a referral to Counseling Services.

Behavioral signs of possible distress:

If you observe or have spoken to a student who is demonstrating emotional distress

What about students who won’t go to Counseling Services?

If it seems clear that a student might benefit from counseling, but is reluctant to go, you might mention any of the following that seem appropriate for that student:

How do I know if a student is getting services?

The staff at Counseling Services can provide consultation to members of the Columbia College Community who may be concerned about a student's emotional wellbeing. If you are concerned about a student and want to discuss an issue, please contact Counseling Services at 312-369-8700. We can listen to your concerns and assist you in developing a plan to best support the student. As a reminder, professional standards of confidentiality are followed by the entire Counseling Services Staff. Personal health information provided to our office is protected unless a student provides written permission to release that information. Exceptions to this policy exist when confidential information is needed to protect a student’s health or safety or is mandated by law.

Information about common mental health conditions

PDF CS Brochure

Suicide Prevention and Response Protocol

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