Counseling Center

HELPING STUDENTS IN DISTRESS: A FACULTY/STAFF GUIDE

We all recognize that emotional distress is an expected part of a college student's experience, whether the source is academic, personal, social, family, or financial. Some students are able to cope effectively, with little adverse impact on their academics or social life, while others struggle to varying degrees. Due to your presence on campus and the amount of interaction you have with students, you are in a good position to recognize those students who exhibit troubled behavior. While it's certainly impossible to notice and assist all of them, being observant and showing that you are concerned can go a long way toward helping a struggling student. Keep in mind that we can provide assistance to you in the form of a phone or in-person consultation and as a referral source you can give to the student.

What to look for:

  • extreme shifts in behavior (i.e., drop in academic performance)
  • changes in personal hygiene
  • disruptive behavior
  • excessively anxious when called upon
  • avoiding participation
  • excessive absences/tardiness
  • heightened anxiety/worrying
  • pessimism about the future
  • dramatic weight gain/loss
  • unexplained crying
  • impaired speech or confused thoughts

What you can do:

  • talk to the student privately
  • show interest and concern
  • avoid criticism/judgment
  • consult with the Counseling Center (410-455-2472)
  • refer the student to the Counseling Center
  • escort the student to the Counseling Center

*If the student appears to be a danger to self/others, call the Counseling Center or University Police (410-455-5555)

Kognito

uLifefline Self Evaluator
  • LGBTQ students face many challenges transitioning to college life. They are at a higher risk of discrimination as well as psychological distress, including suicidal ideation, than their heterosexual peers. They may feel less willing to participate in classroom discussions, especially if no one is willing to speak out against any harassment or bias. The first step towards developing a safe and inclusive environment is the education of the staff and faculty that they will be looking up to for the next few years of their lives.
  • We have adopted an online training simulation that will help build a community of respect, inclusion, and support for LGBTQ students. In this 30-minute interactive role-play course, you will learn how to address discriminatory language, talk to a student who chooses to discuss their LGBTQ identity, identify when a student may be distressed, and refer them to support.
Interactive Screening Program
  • Our college community is becoming increasingly aware of the unique challenges facing student veterans in their difficult transition to civilian life. While the VA has developed some preventative measures over the last several years, we have still seen an increase in suicide and at-risk behavior among veterans.
  • To address this concern, we have adopted an online training simulation that will help all of us to better support our student veterans. In this 30-minute course, you will learn about common transitional stressors that a student veteran may experience, what resources are available on-campus for student veterans, and how to help a student veteran who’s struggling.
 
Interactive Screening Program
  • Our college community is becoming increasingly aware of the amount of stress our students are experiencing and the negative impact it can have on their health and academic performance. Studies have shown a 20% increase in college stress over the last 5 years, with 44% of students experiencing periods of severe distress.
  • To address this concern, we have adopted a suite of online training simulations that will assist faculty, staff, and students to better identify, support, and refer these students to support services on campus. Through these courses, you will learn how to identify signs of psychological distress and refer students to support services through practiced interaction with virtual students.

Contact Us

Student Development & Success Center
Where are we located?

410-455-2472

Monday-Friday
8:30am-5:00pm

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