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For Faculty/Staff

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.

*If the student appears to be a danger to self/others, call the Counseling Center (410-455-2472) or University Police (410-455-5555).

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