Guidelines for Faculty
Students in Distress But Not in Any Immediate Danger
Signs and Symptoms of a Student in Distress But Not in Any Immediate Danger:
- Infrequent class attendance with little or no work completed.
- Excessive procrastination and poorly prepared work, especially if it is significantly worse than previous work.
- Excessive avoidance of meeting with advisors
- Dependency; e.g. the student who is constantly hanging around you, makes excessive appointments to see you during office hours and waits to talk after class. They may need excessive amounts of direction or guidance.
- Inability to make decisions despite your repeated attempts to help clarify and encourage.
- Lack of energy, listlessness, frequently falls asleep in the classroom
- Repeated requests for special consideration such as asking for extensions on papers.
- Normal emotions that are displayed in extremes for an extended period of time, e.g. extreme anxiety, or crying frequently.
- Dramatic weight gain or weight loss
- Behavior that regularly interferes with class management.
- Marked changes in personality
- Use of alcohol or other drugs that leads to academic impairment for leads to a dramatic worsening of performance; e.g. coming to class intoxicated or with a hangover.
*Not all these symptoms need to be present to indicated that a student needs help. Telling the difference between an individual's personality style and symptoms of a problem can be quite difficult. The "symptoms" described above are behaviors that lead to problems for the individual both in and outside the classroom and thus are reasons for concern. If you are unsure as to whether someone's behavior is something to be concerned about, please contact the Counseling Center, Monday through Thursday call Tricia Kreider at 610-568-1469, or the Health and Wellness Center at 610-568-1467 and we can help you determine if something needs to be done.
Guidelines For Interacting With Students In Distress But Not In Any Immediate Danger:
- Talk privately to the student
- Listen carefully
- Show interest and concern
- Clarify what they are saying by repeating back the essence of what they have told you
- Talk in uncritical, nonjudgmental ways
- Consider the Counseling Center as a resource and discuss a referral with the student
- If the student resists help and you are worried, call the Counseling Center, Monday through Thursday call Tricia Kreider at 610-568-1469, or the Health and Wellness Center at 610-568-1467 and ask for a counselor to discuss your concerns.
- Involve yourself only as far as you feel comfortable. Extending oneself can be a gratifying experience when kept within realistic limits.