Counseling and Psychological Services for Faculty, Staff, Friends, and Families
We provide information and resources for families, faculty and friends to help support students. Please visit each section for detailed information.
The traditional-age college student is at an "in-between" time of life: not a child but not a fully independent adult. This is a time when students find out more about themselves as people, and learn how to navigate the larger world. There are people at Fordham whose job is to promote these kinds of growth opportunities for students. We know that learning new things can be uncomfortable at times after all, who grows in the easy times of life? We also understand, however, that people need support to encourage and enhance their growth.
Some students come to college dealing with barriers that can interfere with their success. Others struggle when they face the inevitable challenges of life. Many students find it helpful, regardless of the source of their difficulties, to have someone who can help them during those tough times. That's when counseling can be valuable. Counseling services offers a non-judgemental, confidential place for students to sort out problems and come up with solutions. Since the focus is on developing better problem-solving skills, counselors help students understand their difficulties and devise strategies that will help them achieve their goals. It's up to the student to put those into practice, and work toward improving their approaches to situations.
We know that you want your student to grow socially, intellectually, physically, and spiritually while in college. We are able to consider the needs of the whole student, and offer a variety of services to encourage that growth. These include: individual and group therapy, psychiatric care, community referrals, and collaboration with other student services, such as campus ministries, health services, career services, and disability services, to name a few.
It can be a stressful experience for parents when a son or daughter begins their university career, especially if your student hasn't lived away from home before. Below are some strategies that might prove useful to you.
Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up. Attending to your emotional needs significantly helps everyone with the challenges that might arise. Feelings of ambivalence about your son's or daughter's leaving home are normal.
Make "overall wellness" a personal goal. Stay well by getting enough sleep, eating healthfully, exercising, and recharging by doing things you enjoy. Be a good role model to help your student balance his or her stressors.
Remember that coming to the University is a tremendously important developmental step toward full adulthood for your student. This is a time of experimentation and growth. Providing your son or daughter with this opportunity is a gift.
It can be painful and frustrating to watch your son or daughter make mistakes and grow or fail. Attitude and effort are keys to success. If you feel the situation is getting worrisome, contact the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services for a consultation with our counselor on duty. We are your partners in your student's success.
Supporting Your Student
Stay in touch. Contact your son or daughter on a regular basis. Even though he or she is experimenting with independent choices, your student still needs to know that you are there and available to talk. Listening is vital. Be open to hearing about both normal events and difficult issues.
Allow your student to set the agenda for some of your conversations. If he or she needs help or support, make room for touchy subjects to arise and be handled calmly.
Be realistic about academic achievements and grades. The transition to college-level academic demands can be difficult and can take time. Developing or refining the capacity to work independently and consistently can be more important than grades, as long as the student meets the basic academic requirements set out by the University.
If your student experiences difficulties at Fordham, encourage him or her to take advantage of the wealth of resources available for students. If your son or daughter could benefit from counseling, refer them to our free services.
At counseling and psychological services, we are firmly committed to creating positive alliances and collaborations with faculty, staff, and administrators at Fordham University. CPS staff regularly provides educational outreach on a number of common mental health issues to various departments on campus, and we welcome additional requests or ideas about such services.
CPS staff is available to assist you with individual consultations as well. As faculty, staff, and administrators, you may interact with students on a day-to-day basis in a way that CPS staff do not. As a result, you may be in a position in which you observe concerning changes in a student before we have even met that student. Should you have any questions or concerns about a student with whom you've been interacting, please do not hesitate to contact us. CPS staff is available for consultation by phone during regular work hours, and are happy to advise and support you as you think through how to support your students. Fordham offers an online training course called Kognito on identifying students of concern and addressing concerns with students. Please see below a letter from CPS Director Jeffrey Ng on accessing and using the program. For more information about how to respond to mental health emergencies, please refer to the Mental Health Brochure.
Should you have any pressing concerns about a student, please contact the dean of students during business hours or the security supervisor 24 hours a day. You may also call the dean of students or security if you believe that a student needs to be seen right away and he/she refuses. Personally walking a student over to one of these offices might help in the event that he/she is hesitant to ask for help.
Please take a moment to look at the Faculty Brochure, which offers useful information about working with emotionally distressed students. It discusses:
- Faculty and Staff Roles
- Cross Cultural Communication
- The Verbally Aggressive Student
- The Violent Student
- Substance Abuse
- The Distressed and Anxious Student
- The Suicidal Student
- How to contact CPS
Following the occurrence of traumatic events that affect Fordham students, faculty may encounter students who are experiencing distress and bereavement. Please consult this hand-out regarding dealing with the aftermath of trauma in the classroom.
Additional Training and Information
For more detailed information on responding to mental health emergencies and concerns, please refer to the Mental Health Brochure.
For additional training on recognizing and supporting students in psychological distress and/or at risk for suicide, please utilize Kognito (listed under "Training and Resources" tap).
Have you noticed a friend who seems excessively sad, irritable, stressed-out, or just "not themselves" Who is engaging in unhealthy behaviors, sleeping all-day, or self-isolating? If so, express your concern, and encourage them to seek help. You're not alone: Friends are the #1 referral source for students at counseling and psychological services (CPS).
How can I help?
- Consult with professional staff. Please contact one of the staff members below for solid advice or support. It's often helpful to do so in advance of approaching your friend about the situation.
- Empathize. Listen carefully, and communicate your understanding of the issue as your friend describes it.
- Encourage your friend to talk and accept support. Let them know that it is normal and a sign of strength to seek support from a trusted person when in distress or dealing with difficult life issues.
- Offer options. Your friend may find it helpful to talk with their RA or RD, a campus ministry staff member, a trusted academic dean, or family member. Offer to help begin the conversation.
- Suggest speaking with a therapist at CPS, where services are free and confidential. Tell your friend that talking to a therapist is a mature and healthy decision, and that therapists can tailor services to their needs.
- Provide them with contact information for CPS, or offer to walk them over.
- Follow-up. Ask how they're doing in the days and weeks ahead, and whether they received assistance and support
When listening isn't enough...
Sometimes a friend's problem can feel like more than you can handle on our own. Know your limits. In fact, there are some thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that should NOT stay 'just between friends.' Acknowledge that you don't have the expertise to help sufficiently, but that you care and will help your friend get the help they need. It's important to know that even serious and persistent mental health problems, including major depression and suicidal thoughts, are treatable conditions with the right professional help
Where to go for help: (In Non-Emergency situations)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS)
Rose Hill: 718-817-3725 O'Hare Hall-Basement
Lincoln Center: 212-636-6225 McMahon Hall 211
If the situation is urgent, please let the staff member at the front desk know.
Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs
Rose Hill: Christopher Rodgers 718-817-4755
Lincoln Center: Keith Eldredge 212-636-6250
Office of Residential Life
Rose Hill: 718-817-3080 Loschert Hall
Lincoln Center: 212-636-7100 McMahon Hall 108
Rose Hill: 718-817-4501 McGinley 102
Lincoln Center: 212-636-6267 Lowenstein 217
Rose Hill: 718-817-4160 O'Hare Hall-Bsmt
Lincoln Center: 212-636-7160 McMahon Hall 203
What to do in an emergency:
Please take it seriously if a friend makes direct or indirect statements, verbally or in an email, text, or on Facebook, such as: "I can't go on." "My family would be better off without me." "Who cares if I'm not around anyway?" or, "If _________, I'll kill myself." (e.g. I fail this course, she leaves me.), or shows warning signs that they are feeling hopeless, or contemplating harm to themselves or someone else.
During business hours: Call the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs
Rose Hill: 718-817-4755
Lincoln Center: 212-636-6250
After hours and on weekends: Call Public Safety (Ask to speak to the supervisor).
Rose Hill: 718-817-2222
Lincoln Center: 212-636-6076
- Cura Personalis Guide
- Faculty Brochure
- Kognito training for faculty and staff
- Kognito training for students
College Mental Health Websites
- College Parents of America
- Getting ready for college article
- Transition to College: Separation and Change for Parents and Students
- PFLAG; Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies United with LGBT People
For Faculty, Administrators, Coaches, and Staff