Recognizing Students in Distress
Signs of mild to moderate Distress:
- Deteriorating academic performance
- May include: change from passing grades to unaccountably poor performance, incapacitating test anxiety, sporadic class attendance or extended absences from class, missed assignments.
- Changes in mood, relationships, behavior
- May include: appearing confused, irritable, anxious, depressed, unmotivated, lethargic, rapid speech, swollen, red eyes; market change in personal dress, hygiene, falling asleep during class.
- Begins or increases alcohol use
- Repeated requests for special consideration
- Shows signs of injury to self, cuts bruises or sprains
Signs of severe distress or crisis:
- highly disruptive behavior (ie hostility, aggression, violence, etc.)
- inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech; unconnected, disjointed, or rambling thoughts).
- loss of contact with reality.
- displays extreme suspiciousness or irrational fears, withdraws, isolates, believes he/she is being watched or followed
- stalking behaviors.
- inappropriate communications (including threatening letters, email messages, harassment)
- makes statements regarding suicide, homicide, feelings of hopeless and helplessness (including referring to suicide as current option or in a written assignment).
- threat to harm others.
Signs of threatening behavior:
- A student violates your personal space
- A student raises his/her voice and seems irrational
- A student implies or makes a direct threat to harm themselves or others
- A student displays a firearm or weapon
- A student physically confronts/attacks another student
- A student stalks or harasses a faculty member
- A student sends threatening emails, letters, and other correspondence to a staff/faculty
- An ex-boyfriend or girlfriend stalks a colleague