While we all want our students to have a positive college experience, many students may find themselves facing circumstances they weren’t expecting. Major life events like hospitalization, mental health concerns, loss of a loved one and relationship troubles can happen unexpectedly and throw students off course.
Family members are often in a position to identify when their student is in distress and may be the first point of contact for advice or support. If you are concerned about your student, here are a few things you can do to support them.
#1 Look for signs of distress
The first step in supporting a student who may be struggling is to understand and identify potential signs of distress. Some common signs to be aware of are listed below. Keep in mind that this list is not all-inclusive and students may not always present themselves in these ways. Trust your instincts.
#2 Talk to your student about your concerns
Let your student know that you’ve noticed changes and that you’re here to help. Acknowledging their distress, expressing your concerns and offering to explore resources with them can have a positive impact on your relationship and may increase the likelihood that your student seeks support. Here are a few things to keep in mind when approaching your student.
#4 Explore additional resources with your student
Referring your student to SSCM is a great first step, especially if you don’t know what your student may need in terms of support. Here are a few additional resources that are worth exploring with your student to see what they may benefit from the most.