Emotional Distress


  How to handle emotional distress:  
For the New York Campuses COUNSELING CENTER
Phone: (212) 346-1526
Hours: Monday - Friday  9:00AM - 5:00PM
After business hours: Security Ext:  1800
Suicide Crisis Hotline (212) 673-3000
Rape Crisis Help Hotline (212) 577-7777
For the Westchester Campuses COUNSELING CENTER
  (914) 773-3710
Hours: Monday - Friday  9:00AM - 5:00PM
After business hours: Security Pleasantville - Ext: 3400
  Briarcliff Ext:  2700
  White Plains Ext:  4111
Suicide Crisis Hotline (914) 347- 6400
Rape Crisis Hotline (914) 345- 9111


Counseling Services’ primary responsibility is to the student population on campus. However, the Counseling staff is also available to the faculty, administration, staff and alumni for consultation, evaluation and referral.(For the ease of discussion, “student” is used in describing the procedure for handling the emotional distress of students, faculty, staff and alumni, respectively.)



  • Academic Problems
  • Test anxiety and/or poor test taking strategies
  • Consistent discrepancy between potential and actual achievement 
  • Poor time management and insufficient study habits 
  • Repeated absences from class with little or no work completed 
  • Excessive procrastination and uncharacteristic poor work 
  • Repeated requests for special consideration
  • Morbid and depressing themes on written assignments
  • Advisement Problems
  • Inability to choose courses or a major
  • Career indecision or unrealistic career expectations
  • Dissatisfaction with academic major
  • Student shifts discussion from advisement on coursework to personal issues

Behavioral Markers

  • Marked change in personal hygiene
  • Impaired speech or garbled and disjointed thoughts
  • High levels of irritability, including unruly, aggressive, violent and abrasive behavior
  • Dramatic weight gain or loss
  • Normal emotions that are displayed to an extreme degree or for a prolonged period of time, e.g., tearfulness or nervousness
  • Frequent falling asleep in class
  • Stress related somatic complaints
  • Excessive drinking, drug abuse or drug dependence

Interpersonal problems

  • Behavior that regularly interferes with decorum of classroom
  • Sudden distancing from faculty or other students
  • Dependency on advisor (e.g., hanging around)
  • Traumatic changes in personal relationships due to loss or death


  • Expression of suicidal thoughts
  • Expression of homicidal thoughts
  • Severe loss of emotional control
  • Gross impairment of thinking ability
  • Bizarre behavior


Contact the Counseling Center on workdays. After hours, Pace Security will put you in touch with the Staff Psychologist on call. In addition, community resources include: a 24-hour community Hotline (Westchester), Suicide Prevention Hotline and the Rape Crisis Hotline. In cases of acute risk of violent behavior, always contact and inform security of this threat.


If you become aware that a student is having a problem suggesting the need for referral, it is useful to ask: “Are you talking with anyone about this?” If the student is not currently getting counseling, it is best that you express your concern and recommendation directly to the student as a suggestion and allow the student to make their own decision. You may also express that the Counseling Center staff has seen many students over the years with feelings and problems similar to theirs, and that we can help them work things out. However, if a student needs help immediately, offer to call the Counseling Center with the student present.

If you call the Counseling Center on behalf of a student, identify yourself and explain to the secretary that you are assisting a student in making an appointment: provide the secretary with information as to the level of urgency and a brief description of the behavior that concerns you; then allow the student to speak directly to the secretary to arrange an appointment.

If the student is reluctant to accept a referral, or you are not comfortable suggesting it, feel free to call the Counseling Center and share your observations and concerns. Together they can work out a plan on how to reach the student to determine how serious things might be for them.

Client confidentiality prohibits the Counseling Center from providing you with information about a student whom you have referred to them. However, it is appropriate for you to check back with the student to determine whether he/she has followed up on your recommendation. By doing so you communicate your continued interest and concern.


In the case of an unexpected crisis (e.g., the death of a student, faculty, or staff member), you may wish to invite the Counseling Center into your classroom or organization to provide community support and information. The Center may assist you in discussing the tragedy and its impact on your class or organization.


Consultations to faculty, staff, students and concerned parents are a regular part of the services provided by the Counseling Center. If you are uncertain as to how to proceed, but are concerned about a student or situation, please contact the Counseling Center. Daily designated times for direct access to a staff psychologist is available at New York City, Pleasantville and White Plains locations. A staff psychologist may assist you in determining the most appropriate course of action. In addition, daily open hours are available, at both locations, for same day emergency appointments. Please let the Center’s secretary know if you think the situation is an emergency requiring immediate attention (e.g., suicide, violent or threatening behavior).


  • New York City Campus, 156 William Street-12th Floor
  • Pleasantville Campus, Administration
  • White Plains Campus, Education House