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Support for Faculty, Advisors, and Staff

The Counseling Center provides a range of resources for faculty, academic advisors, and staff to support their work with students. Feel free to consult with a Counseling Center clinician about your particular situation by calling x3500. Faculty, staff and academic advisors may also call AUProtocall services at 202-885-7979 if concerned about a student.

Care Network: early intervention and support for students of concern
FAQs about on-campus counseling
Helping a student in distress
"Support services" blurb for your handout or syllabus
Guest lecturers and extra-credit workshops
Handouts and web info related to student development and mental health
Requests for relief from academic requirements


The Counseling Center provides consultations to individuals or groups regarding how to help a student in distress, how to make referrals to the Center, how to manage conflicts, and other concerns that come up in the course of working with students. For a consultation, call the Counseling Center at x3500 and ask to speak with a clinician. Please be aware that the Counseling Center is prevented by law from sharing confidential information about a student's contact with the Center without the student's permission. A Counseling Center clinician will be happy to consult with you about the nature and limits of clinician/student confidentiality.

Please be aware that clinicians are first responsible to their clients and cannot agree ahead of time to keep third party consultations confidential. Clinicians may decide that it is important and in the best interest of the student (e.g., when a concerned third party provides information about a student's ability to keep themselves safe) that the consultation be shared with the student if they are in fact a client of the Center.

Care Network: early intervention and support for students of concern

The Office of the Dean of Students is generally the best point of contact when you're concerned about a student who could benefit from having someone reach out to them and provide assistance in connecting to campus resources (e.g., Counseling Center, Academic Support and Access Center, Student Health Center, etc.).

The Office of the Dean of Students provides an easy to use reporting tool for faculty and staff to share concerns about student behaviors. If you recognize signs of distress or observe disruptive behavior in your classroom, submit an online report through the Care Network or call the Office of the Dean of Students at 202-885-3300 to talk through your concerns. The Care Network is accessible to faculty and staff through the Life@AU tab on the portal.

What about confidentiality?

Members of the Care Team, as administrative agents in an educational institution, adhere to the laws and standards governing the disclosure of information to third parties both within and external to the University. Such information is only disclosed on a need to know basis and only according to the relevant statutes that govern such disclosure. Counseling Center staff serve in a consulting role to the Care Team and do not share confidential information about clients to the Team.

For Additional Information, Contact:
American University
Office of the Dean of Students
408 Butler Pavilion
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016-8148
202-885-3300 voice
202-885-1560 fax

FAQs About on-campus counseling

The answers to some questions about on-campus counseling most frequently asked by faculty/staff/advisors can be found at:

Frequently Asked Questions About On-Campus Counseling

One frequently asked question is who counsels students at the Center. A student's first appointment will be with a trained clinician. If a student continues in ongoing counseling at the Center beyond a first appointment or short-term intervention, the student may be assigned to a clinician that can best meet their needs. The core staff makes careful matches between students and clinicians. All trainees are closely supervised by a licensed clinician. Students who require more immediate, extensive, intensive, or specialized care than is available at the Counseling Center are provided with assistance in connecting to appropriate services off campus.

Helping a student in distress

The following webpages offer guidelines for advisors, faculty, or staff with regard to helping students in distress.

How to Help a Student in Distress
Helping a Student Get Help
Worried about Someone?


"Support Services" Blurb for Your Handout or Syallabus

If you would like to let your students know about the support services available to them, you can include this blurb in your course syllabus or program handout:

The Counseling Center (202-885-3500, MGC 214) offers counseling services, consultations regarding personal concerns, mental health resource information, and connections to off-campus mental health resources. For more information on Counseling Center services, please visit the counseling center website at

Workshops and presentations

Counseling Center staff members are available to supplement your course or program by providing a presentation or workshop for your students (depending on availability and schedule). A variety of topics relevant to student development and mental health are available. Please click here to learn more.

If you or your students would like to know more about our services, videos are also available on our website. These videos provide an Introduction of Counseling Center Services and overview of What to Expect at an Initial Consultation Appointment.

Handouts and web information on topics related to mental health and human development

Handouts and pamphlets about mental health and human development can be found in our Resource Library, located in the Counseling Center reception area. Additional information is available on our on-line Resource Library. Topics include depression, anxiety, procrastination and perfectionism, relationships, eating disorders, trauma, and other issues of interest to you and your students.

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training

We are currently offering virtual QPR training for all AU faculty, staff, and student-led organizations. QPR training focuses on teaching individuals how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and provide guidelines to Question a person about those thoughts, Persuade them to get help, and Refer the person for support. This interactive training will be 1 hour in length. If interested in a QPR training, contact Dr. Jacquelin Darby at Please give at least three weeks notice when you are submitting a request. 

Requests for relief from academic requirements

  • The Counseling Center does not document or arrange accommodations for psychological disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This function is served by the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) office. The university is committed to ensuring accessibility for all qualified students with disabilities to university programs and activities. Students with a psychological disability may contact the ASAC to arrange for documentation of a disability and for appropriate accommodations.
  • DC confidentiality laws require a student's written permission in order for the Counseling Center to share administrative or treatment information with anyone, including university personnel, regarding a student's contacts with the Counseling Center. This includes both verbal and written communications. Authorization forms are available at the Counseling Center.
  • Counseling Center clinicians do not adjudicate academic matters, such as whether a student should or should not be granted academic relief -- that decision is made by the relevant faculty/advisor/staff in accordance with university policies.