Resources for Faculty and Staff

Curry Health Center offers an opportunity for Academic and other University departments to meet with a Curry Health Center Counselor in small groups to have thoughtful, intimate discussion about student mental health. In a time of unprecedented local, national, and world-wide stress and challenge, concerns for student (and educator’s) mental health has never been more important. Many faculty and staff have specific questions or concerns about what they have been observing and experiencing with students, specific to student mental health – stress, anxiety, depression, disruptions in the classroom, struggles with class performance, serious psychological challenges. These Fireside Chats give folks a chance to have a discussion with a licensed clinician – an opportunity to openly process what is happening as well as to strategize about specific situations in a considerate, safe, and caring atmosphere. These chats are not lecture based and the confidentiality of students will be strictly observed.

Please contact Tracee Anderson, LCSW, the Interim Director of Counseling, at 243-4712 or

When to refer:

  • If you are concerned that the student is self-destructive, suicidal, dangerous to others, severely depressed, or out of contact with reality.
  • If you feel overwhelmed or burdened by the student and/or the student's problem.
  • If you have had contact with the student on several occasions and it appears that the student is "stuck," unable to find a way to feel better or to change things in his/her life.
  • If the student has experienced a number of problems or symptoms over an extended period of time.
  • Whenever a student's behavior is perceived as threatening or disruptive.

Some of the specific issues for which counseling may be helpful include:

  • Depression and/or suicidal thoughts
  • Interpersonal/social problems
  • Decision-making
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Breakups
  • Identity Problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Self-confidence or identity issues
  • Death of a family member or close friend
  • Excessive weight loss or gain, or eating problem
  • Disclosure of sexual or relationship violence (call Student Advocacy Resource Center 243- 6559)
  • Deliberate self-harm

How to refer:

If you are concerned about a student or situation but are not sure how to proceed, call Counseling Services at extension 4712. A counselor will return your call and help you determine an appropriate course of action. Consultations are a regular part of our services and are frequently used by concerned parents and roommates as well as faculty and staff.

It is helpful to encourage the student to call or come in to make an appointment. Give the student the Counseling Services phone number – 406-243-4712.

If the student is hesitant, offer to call the receptionist at Counseling Services for an appointment while the student is in your office. If the situation is an emergency, call Counseling Services and tell the receptionist that "the student needs an appointment immediately" when you call.

 If possible, speak with a counselor at Counseling Services before the student is seen to inform her/him of the reasons you are referring the student.  Sometimes it may be helpful or necessary to walk the student to Counseling Services (west end of the Curry Health Center, downstairs).

Faculty/Staff Cheat Sheet for Students with Mental Health & Substance Abuse Concerns

  1. Be aware of student behaviors and signs of concern (e.g. anxiety, depression, talk of suicide)
  2. Consult with Counseling Services for guidance and support prior to talking with or meeting with a student.  (243-4711)
  3. Meet with student about your concern if this makes sense (reminder: goal is connection and referral and not to counsel student yourself)
    1. Active listening and reflecting
    2. Avoid judgment
    3. Instill hope
    4. Get student to appropriate resource/offices on campus for support
  4. Be direct about your concerns:
    1. You are looking overwhelmed.  I wonder if you are feeling more anxious than usual.
    2. It is common for people to think about harming themselves and suicide, has this come up for you?
  5. Let students know about resources:
    1. Counseling Services: 406-243-4711
    2. 24-hour crisis line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    3. TEXT crisis line: text MT to 741-741
    4. SARC: 24-hour Support Line: 406-243-6559
    5. Medical Services: 406-243-4330
    6. Wellness: 406-243-2809
    7. Office of Disability Equity: 406-243-2243
    8. Career Services: 406-243-2022
    9. Office for Student Success: 406-243-2800
    10. Financial Education Program: 406-243-6016
    11. UM Housing: 406-243-2611
    12. Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)   
    13. Dean of Students: 406-243-6413
    14. UM Police Department: 406-243-4000 (emergency)/406-243-6131 (non-emergency)
  6. Continue to consult with Counseling Services or other offices (e.g. Dean of Students, UM Housing, BIT) if you continue to be concerned.
  7. Follow-up with the student to check on referral.


  • If the student is in imminent danger or at risk to self or others: 
    • Call 911/UM Police Department
  • Be prepared: develop a plan with your colleagues on how to get students to Counseling Services if they are being disruptive in your class or work-setting.  Remember, Counseling Services provides same day/next day urgent counseling appointments M-F. 
  • If a student refuses help:
    • Consult with Counseling Services
    • Consult with colleagues/Dean
    • Continue to encourage student
    • Seek out other involvement (e.g. BIT, Dean of Students)
  • Curry Health counselors also do outreach presentations for entire classes on topics such as stress & time management, goal setting, managing unhealthy thoughts, and effective communication skills.  Think about this for your class in lieu of canceling class.

Mental Health Training: Kognito : A Virtual, Interactive On-line Mental Health Training Kognito is a 45-minute, web-based training simulation module to train students, faculty, and staff in recognizing signs of mental health issues, distress, and suicide, as well as how to communicate with and refer at-risk students. The module can be accessed from home or office and completed at their convenience.


1. What is Kognito? The Kognito simulation is designed to enhance the mental health literacy of all individuals who work with people who maybe distressed. The interactive simulation provides practice conversations through role-plays with virtual students and may be completed at the user’s desired pace. The simulation teaches users how to recognize the signs of emotional distress, initiate a conversation leveraging evidence-based communication strategies and how to make a referral to support services

2. Why is The University of Montana using Kognito for this training? The training, which is already in use at hundreds of colleges and universities around the country, was created with mental health experts and educators. It is listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices. The Montana University System purchased the rights to use Kognito for 3 years with Cares Act money for all colleges in the MUS to help schools address the increasing mental health needs of the University.

3. What is the time commitment - pre, training & post? The training requires a one- hour time commitment. Comprised of approximately 45 minutes for the self-paced simulation and an additional 5 to 8 minutes for some post-training follow up surveys

4. Who can take the Kognito training? All students, faculty, and staff at UM. Please note that there is a different training for student’s vs faculty staff.

5. Why now? The JED Foundation and Active Minds both indicate that 60% of college students report that their mental health has worsened during the pandemic.i The Center for Collegiate Mental Health reports that 85% of students nationally have experienced significant mental health impacts in at least one area of their lives including academics, loneliness and isolation, career development, basic needs insecurity, relationships, and finances.ii According to UM’s Spring 2021 National College Health Assessment, 47% of UM students reported moderate to serious levels of psychological distress – an 8% increase since before the COVID pandemic. Additionally, on a national level, only 40% of students with mental health concerns actually seek help.

6. Is the training mandatory? This training is not mandatory and no consequences or holds will be placed on student’s accounts.

7. How should I prep my students and or staff for this training? This training maybe triggering to folks who have experienced personal mental health challenges. You can prep your students and staff for this training by giving them a warning ahead of time that the content of the simulation talks about mental health challenges. Remind people that they can choose to not take the training and that if they do decide to take the training, they can stop at any time. Furthermore, mental health support resources are provided to participants at the end of the training. We also encourage you to communicate that this training is not mandatory and if they are concerned about it being triggering for them they can opt out.

8. If we complete the training, is there a way staff can indicate they have done so? Yes, we will provide a Kognito graphic for email signatures to all campus professionals who complete the training.

9. How does one complete the Kognito simulation exercise?
1. Go to the Kognito Website
2. Create an account: using your university email

For Faculty/Staff:
1. Use enrollment key:umontanaemployee
2. Launch by clicking on: at-risk for Faculty and Staff

For Students:
1. Use enrollment key:umontanastudents
2. Launch At-Risk Mental Health For Students

10. Who should I contact with questions or technical support?

Kognito Customer & Technical Support Team
• Assists with simulation issues
• Responds within 1 business day
• Contact: or 212.675.9234


For any other question please contact the Wellness Director, Kayli Julius  406-243-6719

i JED Foundation
ii Center for Collegiate Mental Health