Blue Gradient

Indications of Need for Counseling Services

Parents, faculty, staff, and friends often have the most direct contact with students and thus may be the first to notice concerns.

Warning signs which may suggest that a student is in need of counseling assistance: 

  • a change in appearance (e.g., poor hygiene, weight gain/loss)
  • a drop in GPA or academic performance from the previous semester, especially for students who generally perform above average
  • increased irritability or agitation
  • consistently inappropriate, illogical, or unrelated questions
  • distracted or preoccupied thought processes
  • withdrawal from social interactions with peers, family, and significant others, frequent class absences, and expressions of loneliness
  • fearful responses, such as avoidance or apprehension about being alone
  • occurrence of a recent loss or other crisis (e.g., relationship breakup, death of a friend or family member, academic failure, physical illness, rape/sexual assault)
  • expressions of hopelessness (statements such as "There's no use trying" or "What's the point?")
  • indirect statements or written essays about death or suicide ("I want to disappear," "There's no way out" or "I can't go on") as well as more direct suicidal statements ("I've had thoughts about hurting myself")

An additional resource is an online Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training, designed to teach participants how to recognize someone who may be in emotional distress or having suicidal thoughts, and how to appropriately engage and connect that person to resources that can help. Anyone can practice QPR in any setting, and it is appropriate in all relationships. QPR does not require clinical training, only a willingness to listen, care, and help. Members of the SUNY community may register by going to and entering “SUNY” as the organizational code.

For assistance with making referrals call the Counseling Center at 716-673-3424 or go to the how to refer students page.

Thank you for working with us to support the success, growth, and development of our students!