Counseling & Consultation Services

Faculty & Staff Resources

Crisis Information

Recognizing the Signs of Students in Distress

Everyone experiences stress but when reactions are prolonged or severe, students may have trouble coping.

Some common signs of students in distress (the number and intensity of these signs often indicate the level of distress):

Some indicators reflect a more serious problem and require a more immediate response:

Responding to a Student in Distress

In non-emergency situations, you might decide not to intervene if the problems seem minor or temporary. When choosing to speak to a student, the following guidelines may be of help:

Emergencies are rare, but they can occur. If an occasion should arise when you are dealing with a student who appears to be disorientated, not grounded in reality, out of control or engaging in strange behavior, there are several helpful tips to consider:

If possible, do not leave the student alone. If for some reason you must leave the student, have someone stay with the student until you return or until help arrives. Avoid having too many people around, which could embarrass or agitate the student and make the situation more difficult.

Referring a Student to Resources

Sometimes, however, a student will have problems that you are not comfortable addressing. In these situations, the best and most appropriate option will be to refer the student to others who can help provide assistance.

When you believe a referral to CCS may be the best option, consider these guidelines:

The following is a list of some CCS resources that may be helpful when making a referral for academic or personal problems.

Counseling and Consultation Services

Telephone: (309) 556-3052

Location: Lower Level, Magill Hall (right next to Arnold Health Services)

Fax: (309) 556-1042


Hours: Monday-Friday (8 am-12 noon and 1 pm-4:30 pm)

CCS is the only on-campus mental health agency for Illinois Wesleyan University students. Its primary goal is to assits students in order to enhance and facilitate their educational experience at IWU.

CCS staff members are professional psychologists, counselors and social workers. All staff members have been trained to assist students with their personal, educational and career needs, and have special expertise in dealing with the variety of problems persented by college students. CCS maintains total confidentiality in all matters discussed with students.

Initial Intake Appointments

A student seeking services from CCS first meets with a counselor for an initial assessment. During the initial assessment the counselor will talk to the student about his or her concerns and about what type of service or referral will best meet the student's needs. Initial assessment interviews are available by appointment.

Crisis Intervention

During CCS business hours, a crisis counselor may be contacted by calling  (309) 556-3052. Advance notice of emergency visits helps CCS arrange for a counselor to be available when the student arrives. After 4:30 pm, a professional from the Division of Student Affairs can be reached by contacting Illinois Wesleyan Security at (309) 556-1111 or PATH at (309) 827-4005.


Clinical staff at Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS) are available for consultation services for students, faculty and staff. Consultation can focus on a concern for an individual student, behavior issues in the classroom, and on specific topics of concern (eating concerns, depression/anxiety, time management, how to address a student who is not completing assignments, etc.). CCS also offers workshops and groups covering many topics on issues affecting students to which you can refer students. You may also contact CCS to discuss the design and presentation of a workshop specific to your classroom needs. Please call CCS at (309) 556-3052, if you would like to discuss this further.

Ongoing Services

CCS provides a number of services to students. Group counseling is available and is recommended for students dealing with interpersonal concerns and self-esteem issues. Individual counseling is available to students who are currently enrolled in classes at IWU. In individual counseling, a student meets with a counselor to discuss personal concerns and problems. The topics students talk about vary but often include depression, anxiety, stress, relationships, identity issues, alcohol and drug use, and grief and loss issues.