How to Refer Someone

In any vibrant community there are many sources of stress, and the California Lutheran University community is no different. For an increasing number of students, however, stress sometimes feels unmanageable and interferes with learning and living a  pleasurable life. 

As valued students, faculty, and staff, you are vitally important resources for identifying and helping students. You may be the first to see students in trouble and can be the first person to help. You strengthen our campus community by creating a web of support for our students.

In many cases, you will be able to provide adequate help by engaging in empathic listening, facilitating an open discussion, instilling hope, displaying acceptance, and offering some suggestions for help.

Recognize when you are over-extending yourself and talk to the student about other ways to get assistance with their challenges. You can tell them that you are concerned and care about them, and that CAPS provides professional, free, and confidential services. You can offer to schedule an appointment while with the student or you may walk them to our office to discuss their options directly with us.

We know that helping others comes with a lot of responsibility and we are here to help in that process. Please feel free to call us for a consultation. 

Tips for helping someone in distress:
  • Speak with the student openly and honestly. Share your concerns directly and concretely.
  • Be specific and kind. Respectfully share your observations of the student's behaviors that lead you to conclude that a referral might be helpful.
  • Avoid judgmental comments or implications about personality or character.
  • Respect the student's right to reject the referral suggestion. However, if the student has talked about suicide or harming others, be clear that you will need to notify someone to help with the situation.
  • Offer to help them make an appointment by calling (805) 493-3727 or by bringing the student to our office.
  • If you would like to speak with someone before making a referral, you can call us at (805) 493-3727. 
For more information

Please refer to our Helping Students in Distress Guide.