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Crisis Services

After Hours and other available resources are:
Suicide Prevention Helpline (719.544.1133)
Rape Crisis Center (719.549.0549)
Parkview Medical Center (719.584.4000)
Spanish Peaks Mental Health Center (719.545.5746)
YWCA Family Crisis Center (719.545.8195)

Crisis & Emergency Calls

Guidelines for Determining the Level of Response Required for Crisis/Emergency Calls

Emergency calls differ in terms of levels of urgency and steps needed to address them. These guidelines are not exhaustive they are meant to provide general direction on how to address different kinds of calls. Counselors should use these guidelines in conjunction with their clinical judgment. Counselors should also document their rationale for how they respond to any given emergency call.

Do not send a threatening, angry, or violent student to the Student Counseling Center where they could pose a danger to the staff and clients, immediately call the Sheriff's Department (911).

Calls that generally require an immediate referral directly to a hospital emergency room or intervention from local law enforcement include situations involving inebriated, dangerous, floridly psychotic, or otherwise “out of control students generally require immediate intervention from emergency medical personnel or local law enforcement. Counselors may play a role in evaluating or consulting about such situations, but are not poised to intervene directly. Only genuinely urgent calls, such as those involving the safety of a student, require immediate face-to-face intervention. Typically this would involve meeting with the student for an assessment, and may include an assessment for possible hospitalization.  When meeting a student on campus and after-hours, it is advisable to meet in the Student Counseling Center office area only when other staff are readily available; otherwise, Campus Law Enforcement can offer private meeting space in their offices, which is always staffed. In addition, it may make sense to arrange for Residential Life or Campus Law Enforcement staff to help transport the troubled student to the meeting place, and to remain near the student until the counselor arrives.
  • A suicidal student, particularly if that student does not have a pre-existing relationship with the counselor-on-call.
  • A student experiencing what may be psychotic symptoms.
  • A student who seems unable to maintain basic functioning.
Many situations can be handled by setting up a regular appointment by calling the Student Counseling Center for scheduling.
  • A student who is feeling lonely or homesick.
  • A student who has experienced a panic attack, but is not feeling overwhelmed.
  • A student who is experiencing high levels of stress, but maintaining basic functioning.
  • A bridge between therapy sessions with their regular counselor.
  • A student who is emotionally upset and crying, but maintaining basic functioning.

Providing feedback to faculty or staff. When college staff or faculty are involved in requesting emergency services, they should be contacted and given general feedback about how the crisis was addressed, within the limits of confidentiality. If the campus colleague is likely to be in a position to request emergency services in the future, that individual should also be provided with gentle, after-the-fact feedback about the appropriateness of the request for emergency services, so that the colleague can learn when it does and doesn't make sense to place such calls.

Imminently Dangerous Students

Services to Imminently Dangerous Students

In managing cases where imminent danger to a student or someone else is at issue, Counseling Center's professional staff will act to minimize the danger in consultation with their center colleagues. Should center colleagues be unavailable, staff will seek professional consultation with other colleagues.

In keeping with professional ethics codes and legal requirements, maintaining the safety of students and others takes precedence over maintaining the confidentiality of clients. Even so, in the event of a necessary disclosure of confidential information, only information vital to contributing to safety will be disclosed, and then only to persons in a position to make appropriate use of the information.

In most circumstances, the Dean of Student Life and the families of significantly suicidal or dangerous students will be notified of the situation so that they can provide support and help in making decisions about the student. The rationale for notifying or not notifying the deans and families in these circumstances will be carefully documented in students' files. The deans will contact families of suicidal or dangerous students unless the counselor involved has a previous relationship with the family.

Careful and prompt documentation will be made of consultations secured and steps taken to minimize danger.

Whenever applicable, Counseling Center's staff will implement the Protocol for Suicide Gesture or Threat.

Counseling Center

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