Resources for Faculty and Staff

As a faculty or staff member, you are in an excellent position to recognize a student in distress. Your ability to understand the signs of emotional distress and your willingness to acknowledge your concerns directly with the student are key. In fact, students often report that this initial contact is one of the most significant factors in successfully confronting their problems. In general, you should recommend the student make an appointment at CAPS  if their problems have compromised their ability to function academically, personally, or socially.

Sign if distress:

  • Increased procrastination and/or lower quality of work
  • Reduction in class attendance
  • Lack of energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Crying in the office and/or classroom
  • Disturbing material content in academic assignments
  • Inability to concentrate in class

How to intervene:

  • Talk to the student in private
  • State specific reasons for concern
  • Listen carefully
  • Avoid criticizing or judging
  • Suggest the student may benefit from making an appointment at CAPS

Ways you can assist a student who is reluctant to seek counseling:

CAPS services are voluntary. Therefore, the student must have some desire or motivation to want assistance. However, it can be helpful to remind students that a situation does not have to reach crisis proportions to benefit from talking with a therapist. Acknowledging, validating, and discussing the student's fears and concerns about seeking support may also be useful. Additionally, you can emphasize that, although some people feel that engaging in therapy is an admission of weakness or failure, it in fact takes considerable courage and integrity to acknowledge one's limitations and take this important step.