How to Refer a Student to Counseling

The Student Personal Counseling Service receives referrals from various sources. The majority of our students call the service on their own, which is what we encourage. But because the Molloy faculty and administration have direct contact with the students each day, they have the opportunity to observe problematic behavior first hand. Generally, faculty members refer students who exhibit or complain of emotional or behavioral problems. This website page provides sufficient and accurate information to help faculty members and administration who are thinking of referring a student to the student personal counseling service for counseling.

What to Look For

While some students openly admit to having trouble, others may feel embarrassed and have trouble asking for help. Others still, may even conceal or disguise their distress. Below are some signs that may indicate a student is having more than normal difficulty coping with stress:

  • Excessive procrastination and poorly-prepared work, especially if inconsistent with previous work
  • Excessive procrastionation and poorly-prepared work
  • Poor class attendance
  • Repeated requests for special consideration (e.g., deadline extensions)
  • Listlessness, lack of energy, or frequently falling asleep in class
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene (e.g., body odor, wearing the same clothes every day)
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death e.g., "If I was dead this would all be over." or "Sometimes I just wish I wouldn't wake up"
  • Confusing speech and disjointed thoughts
  • Noticeable weight gain or weight loss
  • Frequent or high levels of irritable, disruptive, abrasive, or aggressive behavior
  • Displays of extreme emotion (student appears overly nervous, tense, or tearful) or an expressed inability to cope
  • Bizarre behavior that is obviously inappropriate for the situation (e.g., talking to something/someone that is not present)

The Referral Process

Informal Referrals
Simply giving out our number or our brochures to the students in need of assistance is the easiest way of getting our service out to our students.

For more brochures or other information about the Student Personal Counseling Services, please feel free to call 516.323.3484 or e-mail

** When making an informal referral, no information can be released to the person making the referral unless the student signs a consent form. Whether or not the student called the service after the referral was given also cannot be released.

Mandated Referrals:
The following are suggested procedures when a mandated student is referred to the Student Personal Counseling Services.

1. Vice President of Student Affairs, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Director of Athletics, or the Director of Residence Life acts as the designated referral source and will contact the Director of Personal Counseling Services to initiate the mandated referral. The name of the student, academic status, reasons for the mandated referral, and other necessary information will be provided.

2. In case of a hospitalization or prolonged absence, the student will make arrangements for time off with the appropriate department. An appropriate letter from a medical doctor will be provided once the student is able to return to school or return to the residence halls.

Note: The goal of the student mandated referral process is to show positive change in both the student's personal and academic standing.