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  • Socially withdrawn, isolated, lack of communication with anyone around them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

Physical Concerns:

  • 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)

Three Important Reasons to Share Your Concerns:

  • Earlier Intervention: Often, a quick response to provide a distressed student/friend with timely resources will ensure that the student remains successful academically and socially.  Late intervention often involves missed classes, isolation from friends and family, possible withdrawal from school and an overall interruption in the student’s experience.
  • Connecting the Dots: Our goal is to connect concerns we receive from across campus.  This allows us to provide a greater level of support for each student involved.  Each piece of information helps to paint a picture that we can then respond to effectively.
  • We Care, You Care: Making a referral shows that you care enough to get the student the help they need.  It means you are not prepared to let a student fall through the cracks.  It means Elon is a family that takes care of its members.

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.