Frequently Asked Questions

How do I refer a student for counseling?

  • Before introducing counseling, validate their concerns, remind them that we all need help in our lives, and normalize the counseling experience.
  • Remind your student about our free, confidential services (if via email, you can send them a link to our webpage).
  • Students can call or email the Counseling Center to make an appointment themselves, or you can suggest facilitating that introduction.
  • If you are making the introduction remotely, you can send a brief introductory email to and copy the student.
  • If on campus during business hours, students can walk in to Room S-343 and make an appointment, or you can accompany the student to the Center if you feel that is helpful.

What do I do if a student is crying in my office?

  • Crying is a normal part of life and does not necessarily indicate the need for mental health services.
  • Talk to your student to find out what is going on. If they express a high level of distress or a desire for support beyond what you can offer, inform them of our services.
  • Sometimes students just need someone to listen and care.
  • If the conversation feels too intense or difficult to manage, or if the student seems to be getting more upset as they speak, a referral to counseling might be appropriate.

What if I’m concerned about a student’s safety?

  • Speak with your student to gather more information. If you are referring a student in crisis, contact the Counseling Center to alert us of the issue as the student may not fully report the severity of the situation.
  • Trust your instincts. Ask the student if they have ever considered ending their life, if this feels appropriate.
  • A student who is having suicidal thoughts should be referred to the Counseling Center immediately. Students in crisis will be seen as soon as they are referred during business hours.
  • NYC WELL is available 24/7 for free, confidential crisis support: 1-888-NYC-WELL. This is a great resource to give any student even if you have also referred them to the Counseling Center.
  • BMCC Public Safety is also available for 24-hour support: (212) 220-8080

What information should I provide when I refer a student in crisis?

  • Student’s name
  • CUNYFirst ID
  • Student’s phone number/best way to reach them
  • Specific information regarding your concerns/reason for referral

What is the difference between BART referral and a Counseing Center referral?

  • BART addresses conduct issues (threatening, disruptive behavior, rule-breaking, etc.); Counseling is one of many departments of the college in consultation with BART.
  • BART referral will bring the student to the attention of the college, but not always the Counseling Center.
  • Counseling Center referrals are confidential and will not be shared with the larger college community.

Should I be talking to students about personal things? I’m not a mental health professional.

  • Everyone has the ability to be caring and make a positive difference in a student’s life.
  • Sometimes simply listening to a student can make a big difference.
  • People thrive with connection – when you show that your student matters, you can make a positive impact in their lives.
  • Students often confide in their professors because they feel comfortable.
  • It is important to make boundaries clear and limits to how you can be helpful should be set.

What should I do if a student’s behavior is impacting the rest of the class?

  • Remember that you are the authority in the classroom. You set the rules and create the boundaries.
  • If a student is disruptive, schedule an individual meeting with them and let them know your concern and potential consequences.
  • If you continue to be concerned, fill out a BART report and the appropriate departments will reach out with assistance.

How do I know if my student went to Counseling?

  • Ask your student directly; following up with your student shows you care.
  • Counseling Center services are confidential; they are not part of the student’s academic record. We cannot disclose any information about your student, not even whether they made an appointment or attended a session.

How can faculty contact your office?

What services do you provide?

  • Short-term personal and academic counseling for currently enrolled students
  • Group counseling
  • Referrals to community-based mental health resources
  • FitMind workshops and wellness events
  • Online mental health resources through our website

General guidelines:

  • If you are concerned about a student and are unsure of how to help, reach out to the Counseling Center for assistance.
  • Additional information can be found on the BMCC Counseling Center webpage.
  • Threatening, disruptive or dangerous behavior should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity at (212) 220-8000 ext. 5298 or email: