Being there for our students begins with our understanding of the steps that we can take to help.

For faculty and staff

Consultation services: We are available to meet with faculty or staff to problem-solve challenges that you may be having with a student or group of students. Staff and faculty can email for a consultations.

Outreach services: Our counseling staff will consult with and develop specific programs and presentations for faculty, classes, residence hall groups, campus organizations and the campus community.

Online resources: For more information about when to refer a student to the Counseling and Wellness center, see our guide for faculty and staff.

How the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) operates

The CWC is able to see students in a confidential setting unless otherwise specified by law. Faculty and staff may refer a student to our center by contacting Any further information is confidential between the student and their therapist and cannot be shared back to the referring faculty or staff without a signed release of information (ROI) form. This also means that we cannot report back to a faculty or staff member on the students progress or whether or not they chose to continue with therapy or not. Continued concerns and updated information are welcome but return information cannot be provided.

When to refer and confidentiality

A referral to our center can come from any faculty or staff at any time. The best time to refer is when you first notice a change or have a concern about a student's well being or mental state. All services are confidential: no information is released without the student's consent, unless required by law.

Tips and suggestions for making a successful referral

A successful referral can come from a phone call or personal visit but best practice is to email the center at This will allow the CWC to review the information and make a timely response with recommendations. No follow up is needed after the initial referral unless new information or concerns have come up.

Items that can be most useful in a referral are:

  • The main reason for concern
  • Changes in behavior or patterns noticed
  • Copies of work including concerning poems or papers
  • Dates of missed classes and patterns
  • Current grade in class and ability to pass the class

What is the best way to contact the CWC?

The best and easiest way to contact the CWC is via email at

Saints Care

Saints Care of Saint Martin’s is a student support network bringing together campus partners—faculty, staff, families and students—to foster the success of each student in their navigation of campus life. Our team listens with the ear of the heart, responding to each student’s unique needs with compassion and respect.

Saints Care embodies the value of community living by facilitating a holistic approach to proactively address the academic, social-emotional, and cultural needs of all students.

Learn more about how to submit a Saints Care Report if you are concerned about a student.

Outside counseling services for faculty and staff

Due to the close relationships between the CWC staff and members of the SMU community we are unable to provide direct counseling to faculty and staff. We are able to provide a list of recommended therapists in the local area if you are unable to locate one.

For parents

Sending your child off to college is a big transitional time period for both the student and the parent(s). There is a great amount of information to consider. The biggest one being that your child is now transitioning into an adult and there will be several changes. Check out the website for some great information specifically for parent(s).

What are signs of a potential problem?

Significant changes, change in sleep, appetite, social withdrawal, irritability, aggression, attention-getting behavior, talk of death or dying, feelings of helplessness or worthlessness, or direct threat to harm self. If you see any of these behaviors in your student please contact the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) to discuss your options.

How to help

Reach Out! Communicate appropriately (remember they are adults now), and tell them you love them unconditionally, be supportive by asking them what they need from you, and utilize SMU campus resources.

Suggestions for talking with your student

Always keep in mind that your student is transitioning into adult hood. Talking with them may be different compared to previous conversations. "Experts agree, when parents cross the line from caring to hovering, they inadvertently stifle their child’s coping capacities. When you talk, allow your student to set the agenda for some of your conversations. Work on techniques to give your student the space to build his own resiliency and decision-making skills" (borrowed from

When your student may need counseling?

Some key things to look for from the start are if they are uncertain about future plans, are in a harmful scenario, have past or current trauma, or if they symptoms are preventing them from completing their daily activities. If you see any of these a trained counselor may be what's need to help. Keep in mind that your student may already be in therapy and not wish to discuss it with you.

How to refer. Confidentiality and limitations

Referring is an easy and simple process. Your first step would be let them know that you are concerned about them. Let them know that they can speak with someone in the CWC that is confidential. You can also explore this website with them and help them fill out the appointment form. Please keep in mind that due to the confidential nature of our work at the CWC even though you may have referred your student we may not be able to report back to you about their current status without a signed release of information form.