For Faculty & Staff

Students in Hemmingson Center. 

As faculty and staff at Gonzaga University, we are called to accompany students on their journey.  We know that this often includes supporting and guiding students in regard to their health and well-being.  To support you in that work, we have compiled a number of resources specifically for our faculty and staff that may be helpful. 

What campus resources are available to support student well-being?

There are so many resources available on campus to support Gonzaga students.  The campus resources we have available support students at each phase in their journey.

For a list of commonly used resources, including contact information and a little information about what each office does, please visit our Campus Resources page.

If you still aren't sure which office might be the best place to refer your student, take a look at our Campus Resources Matrix which identifies offices that can help with any number of questions or concerns.

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Who can I call with concerns about a student who is struggling?

If you have emergent concerns about a Gonzaga student:

For medical emergencies, please call 911 or refer the student to a local Emergency Department. 

For mental health emergencies, call 911, refer the student to a local Emergency Department, or have the student call the 24/7 Regional Behavioral Health Crisis Line 1-877-266-1818 (toll free number).

If you have an immediate concern for the student's safety or the safety of the Gonzaga community because of a student, you can call Campus Security at 509-313-2222 and they will assist you in addressing the situation.

If you have concerns about a Gonzaga student, but this is not an emergency:

Sometimes small changes in behaviors or attitude are the first indicator that a student may need more assistance.  Other times, behaviors are being noticed by many members of our community and creating a significant amount of concern.  A student of concern is any student who is displaying behaviors that may get in the way of a student's ability to be successful in the University environment.

The Refer form is one way you can share that you are concerned about a student. Someone from the Center for Cura Personalis, or their designee, will reach out to provide the student with support and resources.  If you would prefer to discuss your concern with someone directly, you can call the Center for Cura Personalis at 509-313-2227.

You can also report Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault here, if that is more consistent with your concern.

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Do you have any general tips for working with a student who is having a hard time?

Below are a few things to keep in mind when a student comes to you with a concern:

Listen

  • Take a break from what you are doing to focus solely on the student and simply listen to what is being shared.
  • Find a place to talk in private so that the student is able to feel more open to talking

Acknowledge

  • Express interest, care, and concern. Make sure the student knows you are interested in what (s)he is sharing.
  • Make sure that students know you cannot keep information confidential. If students share that they are thinking about harming themselves or others, you need to get others involved. Reports of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination must be reported. Talk with your students about your limitations, and be open to helping them get connected to others who are specially trained.
  • Set and maintain healthy boundaries.  We don't expect staff or faculty to assume the role of a counselor and you aren't expected to be available 24/7.  Establishing boundaries is a healthy way to help students know when and how you are available to help them.
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.

Assess

  • Ask open ended questions to help clarify.
  • Help explore what options the student may be open to for getting assistance (e.g. meeting with a case manager in the Center for Cura Personalis, scheduling an appointment with a counselor).

Refer

  • Make sure students are aware of your limits to help. Know the limits of your own skills and training. There are others who are trained to deal with what the student is sharing. Communicate your limits and offer to help students get connected to those who can help.
  • Don't ignore comments about suicide, violence, or harm to self or others. Call Campus Security and Public Safety immediately (509-313-2222), or ask someone around you to call while you stay with the student.
  • Help students get connected to the appropriate resources. Consider walking the student to the Center for Cura Personalis (729 E. Boone Ave.) during business hours where one of the professional staff can quickly assist.

Document

  • Take the time to write down your notes from the conversation.
  • If appropriate, pass those notes on using the Refer form or by calling the Center for Cura Personalis at 509-313-2227.

Practice Self-Care

  • Supporting students can have a big impact.  These conversations can be very difficult or emotionally challenging.  You may need to take time for yourself.  Whether it's quiet time to reflect, going to the gym, or spending time with family, be sure to take care of yourself.
  • If appropriate, it may be helpful to discuss these concerns with a colleague or supervisor for additional assistance or to support you.
  • You may also find it helpful to use the SupportLinc Employee Assistance Program if you need a confidential place to process your experiences. 
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I need to have a difficult conversation with a student. How can I approach this conversation?

It's never easy to have a difficult conversation--particularly when you care about someone. If you need to have a difficult conversation, here are some phrases that might help you with the conversation in general or with specific aspects of the conversation.

General Suggestions

  • “I am concerned about you; I'd like to help."
  • "I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care.”
  • “Tell me what I can do for you” or “How can I help you?”
  • “How are you feeling today?”
  • "How are things going for you?"
  • "I've noticed ____________________________ (behavior you have observed) and I am concerned about you."
  • If you are in a public setting, "I've been concerned about you lately. May we speak privately?" (or offer them a time to meet one-on-one, if appropriate).
  • Repeat back what the student has shared with you. "I understand that you haven't been getting enough sleep and it's making it difficult for you to get to class on time."

Empathize

  • “With so much going on, I can understand why you are feeling overwhelmed."
  • Help normalize the concern. "I know you may feel alone or like you are the only student who is struggling this way, but it's normal to feel overwhelmed during finals week."
  • Share your own experience with a similar concern, if you feel comfortable. 

Clarify the Student's Concerns

  • If a student is communicating concerns in a non-linear fashion and it's difficult to put together what has happened, "I want to help you, but I'm not sure I understand your concern. What was the first thing that happened?" or "I understand _________ happened. What happened then?"
  • “I'm sorry, but I don't understand. Could you repeat that or say it in a different way?”

Set Boundaries

  • “I want to be able to help you, I will need you to ______________________ (insert inappropriate behavior, such as yelling, cursing, standing too close)." or "If you want to continue this conversation, I will need you to..."
  • In situations where students have recurrent concerns: "I have 15 minutes today, so within that time, what can I help you with?"

Ask Direct Questions

  • "Have you had thoughts of harming or hurting yourself?”
  • "Are you having thoughts of suicide?"
  • Asking the question will not give them ideas. 

Engage the Student in Solutions

  • "What do you think would be most helpful for you right now?"
  • "What do you need to get back on track?"
  • "You asked me for help and I have offered a few suggestions, but they don't seem ok with you. What ideas do you have to address your concerns?" or "Are there solutions you can think of that you would be more comfortable with?"

Referring the Student to Another Office

  • “I want to help you, but I am not a professional counselor. I think it might be very helpful for you to talk with them. (S)he can help you work through some of these challenges and give you some skills to help."
  • Manage up. "I've met the people in that office and they are really good at helping students with these situations."
  • "I think _____________ (campus or off campus resource) could really help you/would be a great resource for you. Would you like to call them together?" Or, offer to walk to the office together.
  • If you are comfortable, share an experience of how talking with a professional or another resource on campus helped you.

Acknowledge

  • "Thank you for sharing this with me. I know it took courage to share your concerns."
  • "I know it can be hard to ask for help, but I'm proud of you for reaching out to me."
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Do you have general language I can use to let student s know about on-campus resources?

We are often asked for a quick paragraph or general language around the importance of maintaining well-being.  Whether it's for a program you're hosting, establishing expectations for a student group, or offering support to students in the classroom, sample language is below.

Sample #1

As members of the Gonzaga community, we each have a personal responsibility to care for one another and to maintain a healthy living and learning environment.  If you are concerned about another student, there are specific offices on campus where you can share these concerns.  All of the forms to share these concerns are available at www.gonzaga.edu/refer.  This includes concerns related to academics, sexual misconduct, or any other concern you may have. 

Sample #2

The well-being of our community is a priority at Gonzaga University.  As a member of this community, we all have a duty to respect and care for one another.  On occasion, a member of our community may display behaviors that indicate the student may need more assistance.  A student may display behaviors that are getting in the way of their ability to be successful in the University environment or that create concerns for other members of the community. here are specific offices on campus where you can share these concerns.  All of the forms to share these concerns are available at www.gonzaga.edu/refer. This includes concerns related to academics, sexual misconduct, or any other concern you may have. 

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What is the difference between the Center for Cura Personalis and Health & Counseling Services?

Two of the primary resources on campus that support the health and well-being of Gonzaga University students are the Center for Cura Personalis and Health & Counseling Services.  In order to help you understand a little more about each of these offices and the services they offer to support students, please watch the brief introduction videos below.  

Please also know that the most important part of connecting a student with either of these offices is making that connection!  If you or a student reaches out to either office, our teams will help you navigate to the right place.


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