Faculty & Staff Resources

Dean of the College: Information For Faculty

Report an Absence

Report a Concern (Care Team Notice)

Student Concerns Guide 


If a student approaches you to talk about a personal problem or you want to try and help a distressed student, here are some tips:

  • Request to talk with the student in private.
  • Speak directly and honestly.
  • Use a genuine, caring tone and words to help students speak about issues that may be confusing and/or embarrassing.
  • Do not assure confidentiality (although you can assure the student that you will share information only with those who need to know).
  • Express your concern in non-judgmental, non-critical terms. Speak candidly about your concern for the behaviors you have observed (including objective observations of behavior and why you are concerned).
  • You are not expected to have all the right answers immediately; no one does. Through open questions and reflection of what you hear, you create a space in which students can sit and discuss with you the concerns that bear on their well-being and academic performance.
  • Listen actively to thoughts and feelings and reflect these thoughts and feelings back to the student, when appropriate (for example, “What I hear you saying is,” “it sounds like you are saying ...”).
  • Take time to explore the ways in which your student may get the support necessary for change. Be aware that support comes from a variety of areas for students, and each student differs in terms of what she or he needs when facing distress. Students may identify a need for increased support from family and friends or from therapists or clergy. Not every student in distress needs or wants traditional counseling.
  • Ask a student about his or her thoughts regarding counseling before you suggest it. Students ultimately must make the
  • appointment, but it is sometimes easier to do so when a trusted mentor or friend has called first and obtained information from the Wellness Center. Some students may wish to be seen off-campus and lack information about available resources.
  • Use the reference guide on the second page to guide students.
  • Several days to a week after speaking with a student, follow up to ask how he or she is doing, ask about efforts taken to
  • address the issue previously discussed, and make direct observations about what you have noticed since speaking to the student.
  • Never exceed your training. Refer the student to additional resources if necessary.
  • Always trust your instincts.
  • Take time for self-reflection. Make an effort to center yourself as an individual who is caring and helpful but with firm personal boundaries and realistic expectations about your role as a proactive helper.
  • Consult with the deans of students, your supervisor, or your department chair about your concerns.