Counseling and Psychological Services

Helping a Student in Distress

If you have noticed any of the warning signs, you will need to decide if the situation warrants intervention. The more warning signs that you observe, the greater the risk for the student, and intervention and referral to CAPS may be warranted.

  • Be sure to talk to the student in a private setting. Stay calm when talking to the student.
  • Listen carefully to what the student has to say, paying attention to the emotions as well as the content.
  • Share you observations and concerns in a non-judgmental way. Respect the student’s value system and beliefs, even if they are different from your own or you do not agree with them.
  • Be honest about the limits of your ability to help them and explore options for action.
  • If the student is in imminent danger of harming self or others, please consult with a qualified CAPS counselor or the University Police immediately. Do not make promises to keep threats to self or others a secret.
Follow the steps to making a referral.