Distress Recognition Training
Many students initially seek assistance from faculty or staff members. As such, you are in a unique position to recognize a student who is in need of help and lend them support. To lend support, it is essential to be well-informed of signs and symptoms of a student who may be in distress and how to respond. Completing an interactive training will help you increase your competence and confidence in knowing what to do when someone is struggling.
Take an online training
Counseling & Student Development Center staff support the mental wellbeing of the entire campus community through outreach programming. Our staff members possess expertise in mental health and developmental issues for college populations that enables them to address a wide variety of topics. We have a number of existing resources that you may use to facilitate within your own group, including recorded video presentations and supplemental materials on a variety of topics to support student mental health and wellbeing. In some circumstances, we will collaborate with you to tailor our presentations to meet the needs of your group, organization or class.
If you would like assistance in determining which of our programs will best meet your needs, please submit the Outreach Program Request Form and a staff member will be in touch with you.
Outreach Program Request Form
Identifying Student Stress
Here are some warning signs to take note of if you believe that a student may be having a hard time:
- Excessive procrastination and very poorly prepared work, especially if inconsistent with previous work.
- Infrequent class attendance with little or no work completed.
- Dependency (e.g., the student who hangs around or makes excessive appointments during office hours).
- Agitation; being disruptive, restless or hyperactive; being antagonistic.
- Listlessness, lack of energy or frequently falling asleep in class.
- Marked changes in personal hygiene.
- Impaired speech and disjointed thoughts.
- Repeated requests for special consideration (e.g., deadline extensions).
- Threats to others.
- Expressed suicidal thoughts (e.g., referring to suicide as a current option).
- Excessive weight gain or loss.
- Behavior that regularly interferes with effective class management.
- Frequent or high levels of irritable, unruly, abrasive or aggressive behavior.
- Unable to make decisions despite your repeated efforts to clarify or encourage.
- Bizarre behavior that is obviously inappropriate for the situation (e.g., talking to something/someone that is not present).
- Students who appear overly nervous, tense or tearful.
- Signs of intoxication during class, at work or other inappropriate times.
If you believe that the student may need counseling you may make a referral to the Counseling & Student Development Center.
How to Make a Referral to the Counseling & Student Development Center:
- You may suggest that students call to make an appointment, and give them our office phone number (570-577-1604). However, if you are together in-person with the student, it is usually more effective to assist the student by calling for an appointment with the student present. When you reach the receptionist, identify yourself as a staff or faculty member and ask for an appointment for the student. The student's name and ID number are required for the appointment. Write down the appointment time, date and counselor name for the student.
- If you feel the situation is an emergency or urgent enough to require immediate attention, after identifying yourself as a staff or faculty member, tell the receptionist that the student needs to speak with a counselor immediately. Give the receptionist the student's name.
- If you are concerned about a student but unsure about the appropriateness of a referral, feel free to call for a consultation.
Please note that due to confidentiality limitations, counselors cannot talk with you about the student, including whether or not the student follows through with counseling. When appropriate, counselors will attempt to secure a client's permission to talk openly to other sources of support on campus (such as the academic dean or dean of students).
The Counseling & Student Development Center is available year-round in the case of a mental health emergency.
During regular office hours, year-round, you will be connected with our office staff by calling 570-577-1604.
For after-hours urgent phone support, call 570-577-1604 and choose Option 2 to connect to the on-call counselor.