How to Make a referral

In many cases, you will be able to help students yourself by listening to them
and by supporting them in their academic work. However, in some cases you
may feel that the student would benefit from further support, either by the DIT
student counselling service, or by other appropriate student support services.

>> See a list of available DIT student support services.

How to make a referral depends on:

  • • what you and the student feel most comfortable with
  • • how concerned you are about student
  • • whether or not you wish to get feedback from the counselling service (or any other support service)

Here a variety of ways of making referrals:


If you feel the student can cope, but could benefit from counselling, you can simply make them aware of the counselling service and encourage them to contact the service. In the strict sense, this is not a referral but a recommendation.

When choosing this way of referral (or recommendation) you may want to offer the student another appointment with you in which you can check in with the student how they were getting on. Please note that, if a student comes to see a counsellor following a recommendation -and not a direct referral-, the counsellor may not know that the student was referred to them by you. In this case, the counsellor will not seek permission from the student to disclose whether or not they have seen them and will therefore not be able to give you any feedback.

Direct Referral

If you feel it is very important that the student sees a counsellor, and if you wish to check up directly with the counselling service whether or not the student has seen us, you can - with the student's consent - contact the counselling service yourselves. In this case, give the counsellor (or the service's secretary) your name, the name of the student you are referring on, and indicate that you would like some feedback from the counsellor. In this case, the counsellor will seek permission from the student to give you this information - we then would ring you and let you know that we have seen the student and discuss some of the concerns you may have about the student with you - if you wish to do so.

Emergency Referral

If you feel a student must see a counsellor (or a doctor in the medical service), especially if you think they are at serious risk, tell them openly about your concern and insist that you will need to refer them on. You can offer them your phone to make the appointment in your presence, or else ring the service yourself, preferably when the student is present. If you feel the student needs to be seen immediately, ring the counselling service's secretary and ask for an emergency appointment.

Make the student aware of the limits of your confidentiality, and let them know that you will have to make sure that they see a counsellor, the college doctor or their own GP.

For more information on how to take action in emergencies, click here

For more information about how to make a referral, especially if students are reluctant to accept help, click here.

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