Counseling Service

Awareness of Cultural Differences

Race, ethnicity, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other dimensions of difference are important to keep mind as you help a distressed student. Reactions to racism, sexism, homophobia, disability status, and other discriminatory attitudes can affect the way in which emotional distress is manifested and also can impact help-seeking behavior.

General barriers to seeking help — e.g., denial, fear of being labeled in a negative way, lack of information about campus resources — may be even more troublesome for students from underrepresented groups. Communicating support, concern, and understanding is critical in reaching students who may feel isolated and marginalized.

Your sensitivity to the unique needs of international students, LGBT students, students of color, students with disabilities, non-traditional-aged college students, and other underrepresented groups can be important in helping culturally different students get assistance. Furthermore, being knowledgeable about campus resources that address the unique needs of culturally different and underrepresented students is also important.

Counseling Center Resources

Campus Resources