Helping Students in Distress

Boston University’s Charles River campus at night

How to Make a Referral

If you think that the situation is urgent, call Student Health Services and ask that the student be evaluated immediately.

  • For assistance in emergency situations, consider calling the Boston University Police at 617-353-2121 or Medical Center Public Safety at 617-414-4444.
  • Do not attempt to make a referral when the student is so upset and confused that he or she cannot understand or listen to you. Wait until the student has calmed down enough to be able to converse and respond to your suggestions.
  • Suggest that the student make an appointment at Student Health Services (617-353-3569 or see the “Boston University Resources” list).
  • If necessary, you can help the student make an appointment. Call while the student is with you. Write down the appointment details, including time, provider’s name, and location.
  • In an urgent situation, if you do not believe that it is safe to wait for an appointment, you may bring the student to Behavioral Medicine (881 Commonwealth Avenue). Call ahead, if possible to 617-353-3569. If the student is hesitant to make an appointment, explain to the student that:
  • Counseling at Behavioral Medicine is confidential. This means that information about the student cannot be released to other Boston University offices, family members, or professors without the student’s written permission (except when the student is in danger of harming himself or herself or others). Counseling records are not kept with any academic records and are protected by law.
  • The services are free to currently registered full-time Boston University students.
  • The Behavioral Health staff consists of professionally trained and licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, and mental health counselors with expertise in caring for college-age students.
  • The first meeting is an intake or consultation session.