General Guidelines for helping troubled students

Faculty and staff may be the first to notice that a student is struggling in some way. Faculty and staff are not expected to take on the roles of counselors or diagnosticians. If they notice signs of distress, they can express concern directly to the student and gather more information if they feel comfortable doing so. Alternatively, they can seek referral and help from the Academic Advising & Counseling Services office or the online BIT referral form. Potential academic, behavioral/emotional, or physical indicators of student difficulties that may warrant a referral include (It is repeated on website so you can delete the second repeat:

Academic Indicators

  • Repeated absences from class, section, or lab
  • Missed assignments, exams, or appointments
  • Deterioration in quality or quantity of work
  • Extreme disorganization or erratic performance
  • Written or artistic expression of social isolation, despair, or confusion; essays or papers that focus on suicide or death
  • Overblown or disproportionate response to grades or other evaluations

Behavioral/Emotional Indicators

  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or loss
  • Angry or hostile outbursts, yelling, or aggressive comments
  • More withdrawn or more animated than usual
  • Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness; crying or tearfulness
  • Expressions of severe anxiety or irritability
  • Excessively demanding or dependent behavior
  • Shakiness, tremors, fidgeting, or pacing

Physical Indicators

  • Deterioration in physical appearance or personal hygiene
  • Excessive fatigue, exhaustion; falling asleep in class repeatedly
  • Visible changes in weight; statements about change in appetite or sleep
  • Noticeable cuts, bruises, or burnsFrequent or chronic illness
  • Disorganized speech, rapid or slurred speech, confusion
  • Unusual inability to make eye contact
  • Coming to class bleary-eyed or smelling of alcohol

Crisis situation: Should be handled immediately by contacting campus police and 911

  • Written or verbal statements that mention despair, suicide, or death
  • Severe hopelessness, depression, isolation, and withdrawal
  • Statements to the effect that the student is “going away for a long time”

If a student is exhibiting any of these signs, she/he may pose an immediate danger to her/himself. In these cases, you should stay with the student and contact campus police.

If you believe a person is an immediate threat to themselves or someone else, call 911 or Blinn Police