Referral

Referral: Counselling and Person Enrichment

The Counselling and Person Enrichment (CoPE) section of the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) is mainly responsible for three major areas of work:

  1. Counselling services to students
  2. Person enrichment activities
  3. Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support for students with disabilities.
[There are four sections of CEDARS. For details about the work of Campus Life, Careers & Placement, and Student Development sections, please go to CEDARS website for details. www.cedars.hku.hk]

CEDARS’s General Principle:

  • We believe in shared care. But it is important to minimize duplication and encourage one-stop service.
  • With these principles in mind, we strongly recommend the Faculty Advisers to directly refer the students to CEDARS-CoPE if they report to have (1) personal, (2) emotional, (3) family problems, or (4) disabilities.
  • In general, the Student Advising Officer (SEN Support) cedars-SEN@hku.hk is responsible for one­stop service coordination for students with disabilities, while the Counsellors and Clinical Psychologists cedars-cope@hku.hk are responsible for helping students with personal, emotional and family problems.
  • We also provide a range of self­help information and workshops for students for their study skills, psychosocial adjustment and personal development. Please refer to our website for information on Person Enrichment activities.

The Relationship between Counselling and Advising

“Although counselors and academic advisors may employ the same processes with students, academic advisors are more concerned with helping students learn information-seeking, analytical, and developmental skills so that they can meet the institutional expectations for successful academic achievement, graduation, and employment. Emphasis is placed on the students’ adaptation to the institution’s standards. Counselors assist students to learn self-exploration, analytical, decision-making, and behavioral skills to enhance their abilities to make effective personal choices. Emphasis is placed on students becoming unique individuals with awareness of their values and goals.” (Butler, 1995)

A student who reports to have the following issues should be directly referred to CEDARS – Counseling and Person Enrichment.

Student reports to have these issues: Examples: (These are examples, and not an exhaustive list.)
Personal problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Self-understanding (e.g. feeling lost and having no directions)
  • Self-management (e.g. time management, stress management, impulse control, procrastination)
  • Non-specific or unspecified “personal problems”
  • Offending behaviours
Emotional / Psychological problems
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Anxious or stressed out
  • Having symptoms of mental illnesses
  • Recent history of mental illness
  • Suicidal or self-harm thoughts or history
  • Eating disorders
  • Recent experience of victimization
  • Addictive behaviours (including internet addiction)
Family problems
  • Problems with the family members
  • Family crises (both long-term and acute)
  • Financial problems (if purely financial problems, can refer student to CEDARS Campus Life)
Special Educational Needs
  • Physical disabilities
  • Visual disabilities
  • Hearing disabilities
  • Speech disabilities
  • Visceral disabilities
  • Specific learning disabilities (e.g Dyslexia)
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism/Autistic spectrum disorder
  • Mental illnesses

For services related to financial assistance, on-campus and off-campus housing, visa formalities, educational funds, career planning and preparation, student development activities, etc., please refer to the Campus Life, Careers & Placement and Student Development sections of CEDARS. Website: www.cedars.hku.hk

When to Refer to CEDARS for Counselling?

  • Signs and symptoms that student is in emotional distress (e.g. a depressed, lethargic mood; very rapid speech; swollen, red eyes; sleep problems; poor concentration)
  • Marked changes in behaviours (personal hygiene, weight, or alertness) and pattern of interaction (avoidance of participation, excessive anxiety when called upon, domination of discussion)
  • Loss of motivation, drop in grades, or excessive absences
  • Repeated request for special consideration, such as deadline extensions, with or without disclosing the reasons for such
  • You hear concern comments or complaints from other students
  • The problem persists despite efforts spent
  • The student is developing an unhealthy dependence on you for support

Refer immediately if

  • Overtly suicidal thoughts (including talking about suicide as a current option, or expressing this in written work)
  • Threats to harm others, homicidal thoughts
  • Gross mental impairment or confusion
  • Highly disruptive behaviours (e.g. hostility, aggression, violence)
  • Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things which others cannot see or hear; beliefs or actions greatly at odds with reality or probability)
  • Bizarre behaviours, stalking behaviours
  • Inappropriate communications (including threatening letters, e-mail messages, harassment)
  • Uncontrollable crying or intense emotions

CEDARS’s Tips for Making an Effective Referral to Counselling

  • Present counselling as a positive, legitimate way of taking care of oneself.
  • Try to keep the chain of referrals as simple as possible. One-stop is the most preferred style.
  • Facilitate referrals by calling us that you are sending the student to us. The best way is to call us while the student is in your office. You can start with briefly telling us about the reasons for a referral, and then hand the receiver to the student to set up appointments themselves.
  • It is supportive and appropriate for you to check with the student if they have attended the appointment.
  • Due to confidentiality restrictions, the counsellors cannot verify whether the student has attended counselling.
  • Once a student is a client of the counselling service, we cannot discuss the particulars of his/her situation without the consent of the client.
  • We will generally attempt to obtain client permission to communicate with a faculty member, friend, or family member. We also encourage students to communicate with the referrer in a manner that is comfortable for them.
  • Though we are bound legally and ethically by the rules of confidentiality, we can always listen to your observations and concerns. Please don’t hesitate to call the Duty Counsellor or the Director.
  • If the student is very unstable or emotional, they need to be seen immediately. Call CEDARS-CoPE at 3917-8388 and ask for the Duty Counsellor or the Director.
  • If you are not sure about whether to refer, call us.
  • If the student resists help and you are worried, call us to discuss your concerns.

Referral Form to CEDARS-CoPE

If you want to refer a student to a counsellor of the Counselling and Person Enrichment (CoPE) section of the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS), you can fill out the Referral Form and send it to CoPE at cedars-cope@hku.hk or fax to 2517-6394. The Counsellor may also contact you for more details and will be obliged to send the “Reply Slip” as soon as the student has attended a session. Alternatively, if you prefer to ask the student to directly approach CEDARS-CoPE, but want to ensure that the student has done so, you can ask the student to bring back a Certificate of Attendance from our office.

CEDARS Counselling Service

  • Regular appointment
    Mondays to Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Closes during summer break)
  • Drop-in Service
    Students who want to talk to a counsellor immediately or urgently can go the Centre during the drop-in hours (10 am to 1 pm, 2 pm to 5 pm; Monday to Friday, excluding public or university holidays). The counsellor on-duty will meet the students on a first-come, first-served basis.

Referral to CEDARS for Counselling

For details about the counselling and other services, please check CEDARS’s website at www.cedars.hku.hk
Phone: 3917-8388
Email: cedars-cope@hku.hk
Address: Rm 301-323, 3/F, Main Building

Prepared by:
Counselling and Person Enrichment
Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS)

Student who reports to have the following questions should be referred to CEDARS-Student Development.

Student reports to have these questions: Examples: (These are examples, and not an exhaustive list.)
Educational funds
  • Advice and financial support for student-initiated projects and advocacy campaigns;
  • Topics include: family values, global citizenship, service learning, Millennium Development Goals, and environmental concerns etc.
Global citizenship
  • Incubation Service for New Student Groups and Student Projects
  • Advocacy campaigns and project development related to Millennium Development Goals
Service learning opportunities
  • Advice on organizing local and overseas service projects
  • SERVICE 100 activities and service trips
  • Non-profit organizations and social enterprise setup
  • Fund Raising
  • NGO/Non-profit internship
  • Volunteer advice and training
Leadership Development
  • Intensified Learning Opportunity Programme (ILOP)
  • External events and competitions

Students reporting to have the following issues should be referred to CEDARS-Campus Life

Student reports to have these issues: Examples: (These are examples, and not an exhaustive list.)
Visa Formalities

Undergraduates and TPGs from Mainland: China Affairs Office

RPGs and others : CEDARS

  • Student visa
  • Visa extension
  • Reporting of changes of study status to Immigration
  • IANG (general information)
  • Visa regulation on part-time work
  • Internship (general information)
  • Internship support letter (Faculty and CEDARS Career and Placement)
  • HK identity card (general information)
Other Support for non-local students
  • Orientation
  • iMap
  • Information on Life (non-academic)at HKU
  • Publications for non-local students (HKU Guide for Newcomers)
Financial Support
  • Fee deferment
  • Deferred repayment of student loans
  • University financial assistance (Main Exercise Application, Emergency Assistance, Student Travel Loan)
  • Government TSFS and NLS
Financial Advice
  • Financial problems
  • Financial Management Workshop
Accommodation Needs
  • Undergraduate Halls of Residence (overview)
  • Postgraduate Housing (overview)
  • Hall alumni polices
  • Central Clearing House for hall vacancies
  • Non-hall Housing
  • Off-campus Housing Resources
  • Temporary Accommodation Listings
  • Summer Vacation Residence Applications
  • Commercial Letting of Halls

Students reporting to have the following issues should be referred to CEDARS-Careers and Placement

Examples When to Refer Links
Career Planning and Career Interests Academic Advisors
initial meeting and exploration
Career Advisors
MBTI and in-depth advice
Career Planning Resources
Campus Recruitment Talks, Career Fair, Employer Profile Any issues Recruitment Talk and Career Related Events
Job notices Any issues NET Match
NETjobs
JIJIS
Individual Career Advice More specific professional and industry information Contact Careers for appointment
Job application review – online application, cover letter and CV Academic Advisors
first screening
Career Advisors
second or in-depth review and advice
Career Planning Resources
Training Workshops Any issues Workshop materials
Mock Interview Practice At any stage of the application Career Preparation
Assessment Centre Practice At any stage of the application Career Preparation
Career related Issues – job skills, job offer choice, … Any time Contact Careers for appointment

The University is committed to creating, promoting and maintaining an environment for staff and students which is free of any discrimination and harassment, which include:

  • Discrimination: Sex, Disability, Marital Status, Pregnancy, Family Status, Race, etc.
  • Harassment: Sexual, Race, etc.

Advisers should suggest students who are subject to (or alleged to be subject to) discrimination or harassment to contact the Equal Opportunity Unit of the University.