When to Share Concerns
When to Share A Concern:
Students, Faculty, Parents, and others are strongly encouraged to share with us when they have significant concerns about a student’s well-being. Concerns can be social, physical, academic or otherwise. Below are just a few examples of each:
Common Examples of Concerning Behaviors:
The following list of indicators provides some context when deciding whether a student may need additional support:
Social and Emotional Concerns:
- Comments about suicide or harm to others
- Socially withdrawn, isolated, lack of communication with anyone around them
- Direct statements of distress (“I’m really struggling”)
- Significant change in overall mood
- Angry or hostile outbursts, yelling or aggressive comments
- Appears overanxious or extremely distressed, panic attacks
- Excessively demanding or dependent behavior
- Refusing help and unwilling to respond to outreach
- Excessive use or reliance on alcohol/other drugs
- Lack of personal hygiene or self-care (showering, room cleanliness)
- Extreme fatigue, exhaustion
- Unfocused, disjointed thinking – skips around a lot; unable to stay on topic
- Noticeable cuts, bruises, burns
- Frequent or chronic illness
- Disorganized speech, rapid speech
Academic Concerns: (see Supporting Student with Academic Concerns)
- Frequent absences without communication or explanation (note: following an e-warning)
- Erratic performance – frequent, unexplained absences
- Continual seeking of special permission (extensions, make up work, etc.) without follow-through
- Extreme and repeated patterns of perfectionism
- Disproportionate response to grades or other assessments (outburst)
Steps You Can Take NOW Before/After Sharing Your Concerns:
Before or after sharing a referral with us, consider these steps:
- Talk to the Student: Share your concerns privately and objectively. Let them know you care about them. Ask them open questions and encourage a dialogue about possible first steps.
- Offer to Connect the Student Directly: If there is a resource the student might benefit from, offer to connect them directly. Walk them to the office or person that can help, introduce them personally, and stay with them while they seek assistance. Also, you can email the service directly and include the student – make it a personal connection that the student will find easier to use.
- Follow-up with the Student: Set up a plan for checking in with the student – plan to meet later the next day or the next week; establish lunch or coffee plans.
- Let Us Help: Consult with our office on resources and options for success. Update us on how the student is doing and whether things are getting better/worse.
What Happens Once A Referral Is Shared?
Where Does the Referral Go?
Once a referral is submitted, it is shared with and reviewed by staff in Student Care and Outreach. Depending on the circumstances, the referral may also be shared with other professional staff who will assist in providing support.
Will Someone Meet with the Student?
Based on the information provided, someone from our office (or a campus partner) may reach out to the involved student directly. These meetings are generally non-confrontational and are designed to help the student navigate any additional difficulties they may be experiencing. Not all referrals result in a face-to-face meeting with the student.
Except in very rare circumstances involving student safety, we do not require that students respond to our offers of support. In most cases, we will attempt to contact the students several times using multiple methods. If they do no response, we will attempt to update you on our attempts and will share a general set of resources with the student. If a referral involves potential safety concerns for a student, staff will take additional steps to attempt to get in touch with the student.
What Updates Are Provided:
When possible and appropriate, we will provide an update to the person making the referral on actions that have been taken. The amount of information that is able to be shared in any update is limited substantially by federal privacy laws (including FERPA).