Eastern Michigan University

Information For EMU Staff and Faculty

Because staff and faculty are in the campus community interacting with students every day, you are sometimes the first to recognize that a student is struggling. If you encounter a student who is in distress or who tells you about negative life events or their mental health history, you may wonder how to react. CAPS staff are here to help you!

Here are some points to help you interact with students in these situations and to refer them to CAPS for services:

  • Simply listening with empathy and your full attention can be very helpful. Sometimes that is all that is needed to help a student through a moment of distress.
  • If a student seems to need more than your listening ear, please tell them about CAPS.
  • Explain that addressing problems is a sign of strength. Getting counseling is not a sign of weakness or a sign that someone is "crazy." Counseling is just a tool that can be used to improve problems, reach goals, and help people feel better.
  • Inform students that counseling services at CAPS are professional, confidential and free.  Tell students they can make an appointment by calling 734.487.1118 or by going to 313 Snow Health Center.  They generally will not be seen the same day unless their situation is an emergency. We will schedule them for an intake appointment as soon as possible.
  • We define emergencies as situations when a student is thinking of killing themselves or someone else, when they have recently been assaulted or when a loved one has recently died. If a student is in one of these situations please walk them over to CAPS if possible. With the student's permission we would like you to provide us with more information to help us understand the situation prior to meeting with the student.  If you are not able to walk the student over, please call us to notify us that the student is coming
  • If after hours, contact staff by email and please leave a message with our after hours phone counseling service. If it is an emergency, call campus police (911).
  • If you are not sure what to do about a situation with a student, you can call CAPS and ask to consult with one of our staff members. We would be happy to discuss the situation and help you figure out the best way to handle it.
  • Sometimes a student may not want to go to CAPS. If they are not in immediate danger this is okay and it is their choice.
  • You can always submit a CARE report to the Student Intervention Team (SIT) about a student that is a source of concern.  For more information or to submit a report, please visit our Student Intervention Team site.
  • Here are some other resources you can offer:
    • After-Hours Phone Counseling: EMU students can call the CAPS main phone number 734.487.1118 after 5 p.m. or on weekends and holidays and they will be connected to a professional counselor. These counselors are not CAPS staff but they are knowledgeable about our campus. This service is free to EMU students and is confidential
    • Crisis Text Line: Students can text "Hello" to 741-741 to be connected to a crisis line volunteer to text about their problems.
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.8255
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