Faculty & Staff
About Counseling Services
- Counseling Services offers free academic and emotional support services to enrolled FAMU students.
- Along with individual and group academic and emotional support counseling, our office provides educational seminars and workshops.
- A psychiatrist is available for consultations and, when indicated, prescribes medications.
- Hours of Operation are Monday – Friday 8: 00 AM to 5:00 PM with extended hours on Thursdays until 7pm. During the summer we are operating on the four day work week schedule.
- Our staff is composed of professional counselors who are licensed or who are going through the licensure process in the State of Florida.
- Our staff takes confidentiality very seriously. In accordance with state law, even people who make referrals to us can not know anything about the student without a release of information signed by the student. This information includes whether or not the student came to the Center, when, or how he or she is progressing in treatment.
- As with referring faculty, parents, administrators, friends, etc. are unable to obtain any information about students without the student’s signed authorization to release information.
Making a Referral
HOW: Encourage the student to come to the Counseling Center and provide them with information about our services. Better yet, call the Center at 599-3145, identify yourself as a faculty or staff member, and have the administrative assistant to make an appointment for the student. You may choose a specific counselor or allow the receptionist to choose a counselor for the student. Write the appointment time, day, and date, for the student. If the student looks reluctant to receive services, you may wish to offer to escort the student to the Center.
WHO: Any enrolled FAMU student whose behavior or verbalizations may suggest that counseling may be beneficial. See list of Signs and Symptoms below.
WHEN: Referrals should be made during normal business hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm. If an emergency arises after 5:00 pm, call the FAMU police department at 599-3256.
WHERE: The office is located at 101 Sunshine Manor, between the Black Archives and Tucker Hall.
WHY: How your students function socially and emotionally can have a significant impact on how they perform academically. Let students know that counseling is not only acceptable, it is recommended that they obtain counseling services to help improve their overall functioning.
If you have further questions about making a referral, please call our office at 599-3145 for further assistance.
For safety reasons, if the student’s behavior appears to be harmful to himself/herself or to others, call 911 and ask for the FAMU Public Safety. This will expedite appropriate care for the student.
Rules and laws governing confidentiality prohibit the staff from discussing any aspects of the referred student’s situation with any one unless the student signs a Release of Information Consent form. There are some exceptions to this law. If the student presents a threat to himself or someone else, or if child or elderly abuse is suspected, safety supercedes confidentiality.
Signs and Symptoms
Many students initially seek assistance from faculty or staff members. Below are guidelines for identifying students in distress:
- Excessive procrastination and very poorly prepared assignments, especially if this is out of character for the student.
- Infrequent or marked decrease in class attendance.
- Little or no work completed, especially if accompanied by a lacksadaisical attitude.
- Dependency (e.g., the student who hangs around or makes excessive appointments during office hours).
- Lack of energy or frequently falling asleep in class.
- Marked changes in personal hygiene.
- Impaired speech and disjointed thoughts.
- Expressed needs for entitlements such as repeated requests for special consideration (e.g., deadline extensions).
- Threats to others.
- Expressed passive or active suicidal thoughts (e.g., I can’t take it anymore, I wish I was dead, I just wish my life was over, I feel like killing myself).
- Excessive weight gain or loss, especially without intent.
- Disruptive class behavior.
- Frequent or high levels of irritable, unruly, abrasive, or aggressive behavior.
- Persistence indecisiveness.
- Auditory and visual hallucinations, (i.e., hearing and seeing things that are not there).
- Students who appear overly nervous, tense or tearful.
Suggestions for Working with Distressed Students
- Speak with the student privately.
- Express concern by stating your observations as reasons for your concerns.
- Listen carefully.
- Summarize what the student has said to you to ensure that you are communicating clearly with each other.
- Be objective and nonjudgmental as much as possible.
- Encourage the student to consider speaking with someone confidentially at the Counseling Center and discuss referring the student to our office with the student.
- Tell the student about our website so they can obtain additional information about our services.
Counselor in the Classroom
The Counselor in the Classroom Program can be utilized by any faculty member. When a faculty member has to be absent from a class, if given two week’s notice, CS staff may be able to meet with the class and provide educational programming. With the assistance of the faculty member, a counselor may develop an appropriate student assignment to be given to the faculty the next class period. To schedule educational programming simply complete the Request a Program form and return it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-599-3145.
Faculty and staff who wish to receive counseling services may call the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-272-7252.