Faculty and staff are in excellent positions to recognize if a student is struggling, and are often the first to initiate appropriate steps to help. Some typical signs are problems with grades or a shift in academic performance, inability to concentrate, excessive absences, unusual or marked changes in behavior, physical concerns (such as stomach problems, significant weight gain or loss, poor hygiene), substance abuse, depressed mood, threatened or actual violence or aggression, poor reality testing, and suicidal or homicidal threat.
Recognizing Students in Distress
What should I do if I'm worried about a student?
Faculty members often contact Counseling & Psychological Services with concerns about a student. Our staff is available to discuss your concerns and help you identify ways in which you can assist your students. Call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2146 to speak to a clinician. However, unless it is an emergency, the option of scheduling an appointment for counseling must be left up to the student.
Case Management Team
In addition to direct referral to Counseling & Psychological Services, Fairfield University has a Case Management Team that meets biweekly. The team, which includes Directors from Counseling & Psychological Services, the Student Health Center, Residence Life, Public Safety, Campus Ministry, Student Diversity Programs, Disability Support, the Dean of Students, and Assistant Deans of Students, as well as the Dean of Freshmen, discusses students of concern. To report a non-urgent concern to the Case Management Committee, call either the Dean of Students (ext. 4211) or Counseling & Psychological Services (ext. 2146).
What if I feel a student is in crisis?
For emergency situations - When a student is a risk to self or others, there is a clinician on-call who is available for consultation and/or can meet with a student in crisis. During our regular business hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., call us at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2146. After hours or on weekends, please call the Health Center at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2241 and the clinician on-call will be contacted.
If a student reports a sexual assault, you or the student can contact Counseling & Psychological Services or the Health Center if after hours; you or the student can also call the SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) infoline at (203) 254-4045 or (203) 254-4000, ext. 4045.
In the case of sexual harassment, you or the student can contact Susan Birge, Title IX Coordinator, at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2146.
What if I am concerned that a student may be suicidal or homicidal?
In light of recent legal rulings in a lawsuit brought by the parents of Elizabeth Shin, an MIT student, faculty, deans and other high-level education administrators who have a "special relationship" with a student must follow policy to ensure the student's safety. If you are concerned that a student may be suicidal or homicidal, contact Counseling & Psychological Services staff immediately, in accordance with Fairfield University policy.
Students have the right to confidentially at Counseling & Psychological Services, as policy we do not disclose information without the students written consent or unless ethically mandated or required by Connecticut State law.