What We Do: Counseling Services provides skilled and sensitive help to students in order to address problems that can interfere with their academic or social life while in college. Some common problems students might need our services include:
– family problems                       – stress and anxiety         – loneliness

– academic problems                  – depression                  – bereavement

– eating and body image issues   – sexuality issues           – romantic difficulties

– cultural adjustment issues        – conflicts                       – medical illness

– substance use or abuse           – effects of trauma          – difficulties in time management
While most of our work is helping students who are having difficulty dealing with ordinary life events, we are also trained to recognize and to treat more serious mental disorders. We can also refer students to off-campus practitioners as needed.

Our consulting psychiatrist can conduct diagnostic assessments and prescribe medication. Appointments are arranged through Health or Counseling Services practitioners. There is no charge for these services.

Confidentiality: Please let students know that their confidentiality is carefully observed. Our confidentiality policy requires that we have specific permission from the student if we are to talk with faculty, staff, deans, parents or others about the student. The exception to this is if we have reason to believe there is imminent danger to an individual. This also means that we are limited to what we can say to you unless we have the student’s permission, even if you initiated the student’s contact with us.

Possible Signs of Distress:
″ numerous absences from class or job                 ″ lack of participation in class or job
″ often coming late or sleeping in class or job       ″ marked drop in the quality of work
″ frequent hostile or sarcastic remarks                  ″ threats of violence
″ unprovoked crying or giggling                               ″ inappropriate remarks
″ mention of suicidal or homicidal thinking            ″ mention of personal crisis or other problems
″ frequent requests for personal conferences       ″ frequent requests for extensions, incompletes or withdrawal from a course

What You Can Do:
If you believe there is an imminent threat to safety please call Security at #5911 for an immediate response.

In other cases where you are concerned about a student’s behavior or state of mind, there are several options:
″ Let the student know you are concerned, and if the situation seems to require more time or skills than you have available, tell the student.

″ Explain that deans, counselors, Health Center professionals, chaplains and hall staff members are all available specifically to help students.

″ Encourage the student to think about these options. Don’t underestimate your influence – your encouragement can help make the difference in whether a student seeks additional support or not.

″ You may call a counselor yourself for information on how to handle a situation. During weekdays, call #4490 and ask to speak with an available counselor for consultation, or to be transferred to a particular counselor.

″ After 5pm or on weekends, call #5911 and ask to speak with the counselor on call.

″ We are not able to require students to meet with us; if necessary, this is handled through the Dean of Students office.

″ You may offer to walk the student over to the Health Center, or encourage the student to make an appointment.

Responding to Crisis on Campus and Beyond:
High profile events like deaths, accidents, natural disasters and acts of violence will affect some or all of the students in  your classes.

It is prudent to assume that students have been touched by the event and to offer some sort of public acknowledgment of this assumption. Additional options include taking some class time to discuss the event, or offering to speak to students outside of class if they have concerns about their ability to complete their work.

Do not underestimate the impact you have as teacher and mentor at these times. Encourage students to use college resources – to talk to hall staff, counselors, deans or chaplains.

You may also contact Counseling Services yourself to discuss ways to respond to particular students or particular situations.

Take care to arrange your own support subsequent to death or disaster, especially if it hits close to home.

Emergency Services:  There is always a counselor on call while school is in session.  If an emergency situation occurs you can reach the on call counselor by calling the Health Center (207-859-4460), or by calling Security (207-859-5911). For urgent, yet not life-threatening situations, you can also email us at counseling@colby.edu.

Consultations: We are available to talk with you or your department about our services. Call or email us to arrange a convenient time.


Eric S. Johnson, Psy.D., Director

Todd MacFarlane, MA, LCPC

Dicle Turkoglu, Ph.D.

Jing Ye, MA, LCPC