Resources for Faculty and Staff

In many cases of student distress, faculty and staff provide adequate help through empathic listening, facilitating open discussion of problems, instilling hope, conveying acceptance, and offering basic advice. In some cases, however, students need professional help to overcome problems and to resume effective coping. The following signs indicate that a student may need counseling:

  • The student remains distressed following repeated attempts by you and others to be helpful;
  • The student becomes increasingly isolated, unkempt, irritable, or disconnected;
  • The student’s academic or social performance deteriorates;
  • The student’s behavior reflects increased hopelessness or helplessness;
  • You find yourself doing on-going counseling rather than consultation or brief advising.

How to Refer a Student to CAPS

It is best to speak to the student in a direct, concerned, straightforward manner. Because many students initially resist the idea of counseling, be caring but firm in your judgment that counseling would be helpful. Also be clear about the reasons that you are concerned.

Be knowledgeable in advance about the services and procedures of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and other campus help-giving agencies. The best referrals are made to specific people or services.

Remind the student that services are free and confidential.

Suggest that the student call to make an appointment and provide the CAPS phone number (657) 278-3040. Sometimes it is useful to more actively assist students in scheduling an initial counseling appointment. You can offer the use of your phone or call the receptionist yourself while the student waits in your office. In some situations, you may find it wise to walk the student over to CAPS.

If you need help in deciding whether or not it is appropriate to make a referral, call Counseling and Psychological Services at (657) 278-3040 to consult with a counselor.


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Additional Information

Faculty and staff members are encouraged to download and review, "Helping Students in Distress: A Faculty and Staff Guide for Assisting Students in Need.PDF File Opens in new window " This guide provides strategies on interacting with and providing assistance to students.


When to Call for a Welfare Check

Faculty and staff are encouraged to refer to this documentOpens in new window for when they believe a student is in danger and needs to be checked on.

When to call CSUF PD to initiate a welfare check

Red Folder

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Red Folder

Student Wellnss is pleased to bring you the Red Folder, a resource guide for faculty and staff directed by the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The CSU recognizes that individuals may seek support and counseling from faculty and staff members with whom they have fostered a trusting relationship.   

The Red Folder reference guideOpens in new window contains information, safety tips, and contact information on a variety of emergency campus and community resources to immediately help CSU students in distress. Additionally, it provides guidance on responding to incidents in which an individual might be of danger to self or a threat to others. The Red Folder was developed by a system wide workgroup consisting of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) directors, counselors, student conduct administrators, and health educators. This project was designed to put at your fingertips the information you need to identify, respond, and refer individuals in distress.

Employees of CSUF should have access to the Red Folder on the desktop of their computer and in the staff portal. 


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