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Faculty/Staff Referral Guide

Know some facts about CAPS

Sharing information about our services makes accessing help easier. Many students can be hesitant about seeing a counselor, so your positive and straightforward attitude can help de-stigmatize mental health services.

  • counselingservicestalking.pngShare where we are located (182 High Street), we do not charge for services, and our services are confidential (with the exception of mandated reporting laws). Although you may refer a student, it is up to the student to seek out services from us, we will not contact students to initiate counseling services.
  • We aim to see students for a full initial appointment within a week.
  • We also have Urgent hours, Monday - Friday, between 1-3pm, for those students who are experiencing a crisis or urgent matter and may not be able to wait for a scheduled appointment.
  • If you refer a student, please call ahead and let us know that student may be coming in to see us. We appreciate advance notice and any insights you might have to share with our staff.
  • We cannot share information with anyone, including basic information about whether a student has made an appointment with us, is currently a client, or any other information without that student's written consent (with the exception of mandated reporting laws).

Learning about the services on campus can give you an edge when you interact with students.  If you should have additional questions or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out to us at CAPS.

If you would like to share a resource or support service on our webpage, please contact Monica O'Connor at

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Faculty & Staff Assisting Students in Distress

If your concerns about a student require immediate action to keep the student or others safe,

Dial 911 or Campus Police (860) 465-5310

College students often experience high levels of stress, conflict, and personal challenges that can derail them psychologically and profoundly affect their health, behavior, and academic performance. Although most students successfully contend with daily struggles of university life, some are so distressed that they may intentionally or unconsciously seek out your help.

As members of the faculty and staff, you play a key role in identifying and responding to these distressed students, because you often get the first glimpse of students in trouble and may be first person to whom students turn for help.

Important Numbers:

  • Emergency 911
  • Campus Police (860) 465-5310
  • CAPS (860) 465-0181
  • Student Affairs (860) 465-5247

Remember that it is NOT your responsibility to provide mental health services to students in distress. Counseling and Psychological Services staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm for consultation and for crisis services for students. If you need assistance call and ask to speak to a counselor.

After hours crisis support is available via ProtoCall by calling (860) 465-0181. 

Please view the Division of Student Affairs Student Intervention Protocol.

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Referring a Student to CAPS

  • If you observe behavior that is of concern, tell somebody.

    Submit your Tell Somebody report via the online report form

    In an effort to enhance already existing processes, the University has created a Threat Assessment Team (TAT) to complement the existing Student Intervention Team (SIT) to deal with concerning, troubled, and/or at risk faculty, staff, and students.

    The charge of these teams is to assess circumstances, enhance communication, and initiate appropriate responses to specific behavioral problems that may involve threats to the safety and security of the University community.

    View the list of Student Intervention Team (SIT) members and the Threat Assessment Team (TAT) Members

    Student Suffering With Stress

    Stress is a part of every student’s life. However, there are some indicators that, when present over time, suggest that a student’s stress level may be a cause for concern. In these circumstances, you might see or hear the following:

    • Uncharacteristic changes in academic presentation (attendance and performance)
    • Depressed or lethargic mood
    • Hyperactivity and/or rapid speech
    • Social isolation
    • Obvious change in personal dress, hygiene, eating and/or sleeping routines
    • Inattentiveness or falling asleep in class
    • Behavior that pushes the limits of appropriateness and that interferes with class management.
    • Unusual or exaggerated emotional response to events
    • Frequent illness or physical symptoms (nausea, stomach irritation, headaches, etc.)
    • Experiencing an increase in worry
    • Difficulty concentrating or performing typical daily activities
  • Consider the following suggestions when you reach out to a student you feel may benefit from meeting with CAPS.

    Communicate in private

    • Attempt to set aside time during office hours or after class to speak with a student. Having this privacy also maximizes the chances that you will actually be able to help the student talk about what is most important and also communicates to the student that you take their situation seriously.

    Be direct with your communication

    • Use language that is simple and straight forward to let the student know that you are concerned about them. Describe your observations in behavioral terms, reducing judgmental statements.  Some basic ways to open the conversation are:
      • “I notice you have been missing a lot of classes lately”
      • “You have stopped contributing in classroom discussions”
      • “I wanted to talk with you about your last paper or what you wrote in your last journal entry”

    Always listen

    • When students are struggling or suffering, use empathy and active listening to convey you are someone who can help a student discuss their situation in a mature way.  Listen sensitively and respond with alternate statements that might clarify the issue.  “It sounds like you’re not comfortable on such a big campus and you’re feeling left out of things” or “it sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed with your classes and not in control of your time management.”
  • Students can benefit greatly from your support and your knowledge of available services. Your suggestions can influence their next steps. Eastern's campus has a variety of staff that can help a student who may be experiencing difficulties.
    • RAs are a first line of contact where students can reach out for supports in their adjustments to living on campus. Housing and Residential Life provides programs covering the categories of Social, Educational, and Community Service, as well as weekend events.
    • The Six Week Challenge is and event to help students with the transition to student life at Eastern. Encourage participation!
    • Students are often feeling challenged when choosing a Major or conflicted with about the choice they have already made. Referring to the Office of Career Services is a great place to learn about possible career choices and help provide direction for planning an educational, career, and lie path.
    • Academic Success Center is available to assist students when they become challenged or overwhelmed with their studies.
    • Maybe tutoring would be helpful. The Tutoring Center located in the Academic Success Center provides tutoring for many majors.
    • The Office of AccessAbility is available to provide services designed to meet the unique educational needs of students with documented physical and learning disabilities, or other challenges. Coaching support is available to all students throughout the semester.  Contact OAS for more information.
    • Student Health Services is available, by appointment-usually within 24 hours, call or walk in for an appointment. They offer Primary Care, Women's Health, as well as a variety of other services.
    • The Foundation for Campus Ministry (FCM) is a multi-faith organization dedicated to serving the spiritual needs of the University community. Exploration and practicing spirituality on campus can be a support to many students.
  • Please be aware of the following calls for action and support available so that you are equipped with the information necessary to assist our students.

    1. If you believe someone is in imminent danger of harm to themselves or others, immediately call 911 to initiate an emergency response.
    2. Complete the Tell Somebody online report form to provide detailed information on behavior that is of concern and needs to be brought to the attention of the Student Intervention Team.
    3. If you are concerned about a student, but it is not an imminent danger situation, call the Dean of Students Office at (860) 465-5244 or (860) 465-4412 or any member of the Student Intervention Team below.

    The Dean of Students convenes with the team every Monday morning during the academic year, and as necessary during other times, to discuss information received about students so we may determine the appropriate course of action to best assist the students. It is important that you share any information you have about a student, regardless of its significance, so that we can determine a course of action.

    The purpose of the Student Intervention Team (SIT) is to provide a proactive approach to engaging students who may be at risk or in crisis. The team is comprised of the following members:

    Brooks Scavone
    AccessAbility Services
    Wood Support Services Center, Room 201
    Telephone: (860) 465-4667

    Bryce Crapser
    Counseling and Psychological Services
    182 High Street
    Telephone: (860) 465-5779

    LaMar Coleman
    Housing and Residential Life
    Wood Support Services Center 245
    Telephone: (860) 465-0072

    Michelle Delaney
    Dean of Students
    Gelsi-Young, Room 222
    Telephone: (860) 465-5244

    Timothy Viens
    Public Safety
    Public Safety Building 204
    Telephone: (860) 465-5068

    Sandra Rose-Zak
    Wellness Education and Promotion
    Wood Support Services Center 209
    Telephone: (860) 465-2821

    Chris Ambrosio
    Office of Student Conduct
    Wood Support Services Center 207
    Telephone: (860) 465-0063

    Christi Craig
    Counseling and Psychological Services
    182 High Street
    Telephone: (860) 465-5204

Outreach & Community Support

CAPS welcome your interest in having us provide educational programs on such topics as stress management, depression, grief and loss, succeeding at Eastern, and communication skills. Our workshops are designed to support and enhance the academic, professional and personal goals of students, staff and faculty. In addition, when unexpected crises occur (such as a death of a student or other major tragedy), you may want to consider inviting us into your residence hall, classroom, or department to provide community support. We can assist you in discussing any particular situation and its impact on your students.

If you are interested in CAPS providing a workshop or training, or have a special need, please submit a Request Form.

Requests must be received at least two (2) weeks in advance of the requested presentation date. We will make every effort to fulfill your request, but there may be instances when we are unable to present because of lack of staff availability at the particular time requested (i.e., midterm and final exam period).

What Happens After the Outreach Request Is Made?

Once your request is received, the Counseling Service will follow-up and determine whether the request can be fulfilled. You will then be connected to staff member (s) who will coordinate the outreach/training/presentation with you.