Assisting students in distress


University faculty and staff are in a unique position to demonstrate compassion for students in distress.

Both undergraduate and graduate students may feel alone, isolated and even hopeless when faced with academic and life challenges. These feelings can easily disrupt academic performance and may lead to difficulties coping and other serious consequences.

You may be the first person to SEE SOMETHING distressing in your students since you have frequent and prolonged contact with them.


Students exhibiting troubling behaviors in your presence are likely having difficulties in various settings including the classroom, with roommates, with family and even in social settings.

Trust your instincts and SAY SOMETHING if a student leaves you feeling worried, alarmed, or threatened!


Sometimes students cannot or will not turn to family or friends. DO SOMETHING! Your expression of concern may be a critical factor in saving a student's academic career or even their life.

Please use the information below to help you recognize symptoms of student distress and identify appropriate referrals to campus resources.

View our guide to assisting students in distress

If you believe you cannot allow the student to leave your presence without immediate risk of self-harm, tell the student. Then, call 911.