Worried about a student?  CAPS offers 24/7 phone consultations to staff, faculty, parents and students regarding students of concern.  During business hours we can talk by phone or in person to help you make a plan.

As an employee interacting daily with students, you are in an excellent position to recognize behavior changes that characterize the emotionally troubled student.  A student’s behavior, especially if it is inconsistent or unusual, could be a signal for help.  Your willingness to address a situation is often the encouragement a student needs to get assistance and continue successfully in school.

Some Classroom Signs of Distress:

  • Sudden drop in class attendance.
  • Drop in quality of class work.
  • Atypical, inappropriate or bizarre responses.
  • Inability to remain focused.
  • Excessive procrastination.
  • Repeated requests for special consideration (for example, deadline extensions.)

General Suggestions:

  • Talk with the student in private.
  • Reassure the student for talking with you.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Try to help the student identify the problem in a way that is most appropriate for you.
  • Be discrete but don’t promise confidentiality since you may be mandated to report (if staff or faculty.)
  • Refer the student to CAPS for our free services.
  • Consult with the Dean of Students Office or Student Conduct if needed.


Know your personal limits as a helper. You may not feel comfortable trying to help a student cope with a particular problem, but you could help them get connected with a department which can provide the necessary services.  If this is the case, contact Counseling and Psychological Services and ask to speak to a counselor.  The counselor on duty can consult with you Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Or walk the student over to our office during these hours.