Counseling Services

Student Life | Leading the Experience

Student Life


Crisis Intervention

Crisis Intervention

University students typically encounter a great deal of stress (i.e., academic, social, family, work, financial) during the course of their educational experience. While most students cope successfully with the demands of college life, for some the pressures can become overwhelming and unmanageable. Students in difficulty have a number of resources available to them. These include close friends, relatives, clergy, and coaches. In fact, anyone who is seen as caring and trustworthy may be a potential resource in time of trouble. The Counseling Services office is staffed by trained mental-health professionals who can assist students in times of personal crisis.

Services Available Through Counseling Services

Counseling Services provides same-day crisis appointments for students in crisis. We also provide after-hours counselors-on-call. Consultation services are also available via phone or in-person: students, faculty/staff, and parents can contact our office to consult about a student who might be in crisis. Counseling staff can provide suggestions on how best to proceed and offer resources. Counseling staff can also provide debriefing for traumatic events that may occur on campus, such as in the Residence Halls for students, or in a academic department for faculty and staff.

Counseling Center Office

To assist faculty and staff in handling students in distress, we have produced a Faculty/Staff Referral Guide.

In addition to the services provided by Counseling Services, you can also find information for referrals to community resources at our Referral Page. This includes resources in the Western New York area as well as how to find resources elsewhere in the country.

Tips For Recognizing Students In Crisis

(Adapted by permission of the Counseling, Learning, and Career Center, University of Texas/Austin.)

At one time or another, everyone feels depressed or upset. But we can identify three general levels of student distress, which, when present over a period of time, suggest that the problems the person is dealing with are more than the "normal ones."

Level 1 These behaviors, although not disruptive to others, may indicate that something is wrong and that help may be needed:

Level 2 These behaviors may indicate significant emotional distress, but also a reluctance or inability to acknowledge a need for more personal help:

Level 3 These behaviors usually show a student in obvious crisis who needs emergency care:

Level 3 problems are the easiest to identify and the easiest to handle in that assistance by a professional is clearly necessary. A list of resources can be found below. In dealing with a student who shows Level 1 or Level 2 behavior, you have several choices. You can choose to not deal with it at all; deal directly with the request or disruptive behavior in a way that limits your interaction to the classroom issue; or you can deal with the situation on a more personal level. A referral to the Counseling Services office may be an important part of how you deal with the student's concerns.

If you choose to approach a student you're concerned about or if a student seeks you out for help with personal problems, here are some suggestions which might make the opportunity more comfortable for you and helpful for the student:

Other Resources

In addition to Counseling Services, listed below are additional resources for people experiencing a mental health emergency:

Counseling Services | 120 Richmond Quad | University at Buffalo | Buffalo, NY 14261-0053 | Tel: (716) 645-2720 or 829-5800 | Fax: (716) 645-2175 | Director: Sharon Mitchell | E-Mail: