Identifying behaviors of students in distress:

  • Excessive procrastination and poorly prepared work, especially if inconsistent with previous work.
  • Reduced class attendance with little or no work completed.
  • Dependency (e.g., the student who hangs around or makes excessive appointments during office hours).
  • 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 such as deadline extensions.
  • Threats to others.
  • Expressing suicidal thoughts or referring to suicide as a current option.
  • Excessive weight gain or loss.
  • Repeated interference 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).
  • Appearing overly nervous, tense or tearful.

Suggestions for speaking with a student in distress:

  • Talk to the student in private.
  • Express concern. Be as specific as possible in stating your observations and reasons for concern.
  • Listen carefully to everything the student says.
  • Repeat the essence of what the student has told you so your attempts to understand are communicated.
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
  • Consider Student Mental Health Services as a resource and discuss a referral with the student.

In case of an EMERGENCY...

  • Call 911
  • Campus Safety: (425) 352-5359

For additional support, please contact the CARE Team.