If you have noticed changes in a student’s behavior over time or if you notice a student appears withdrawn, sullen, upset or depressed, you may wish to consider referring that student to Student Support and Case Management (SSCM). Additionally, if a student is engaging in aggressive or inappropriate behaviors, is violating boundaries you have set, or fails to comply with your requests, it is important you refer that student.

If you think something may be wrong, don’t hesitate to contact SSCM. They can provide consultation whether or not they know the student’s name.

Academic Signs

  • Deterioration in quality/quantity of work
  • A negative change in classroom or research performance
  • Repeated absences from class or from research lab
  • Disorganized or erratic performance
  • Student sends frequent, lengthy, "ranting" or threatening types of emails 
  • Continual seeking of special provisions (e.g., late papers, extensions, postponed exams and projects)

Physical signs

  • Falling asleep in class
  • A dramatic change in energy level (either direction)
  • Worrisome changes in hygiene or personal appearance
  • Frequent state of alcohol or drug intoxication (i.e., bleary-eyed, hungover, smelling of alcohol)
  • Noticeable cuts, bruises or burns on student

Emotional signs

  • Exaggerated personality traits; more withdrawn or more animated than usual
  • Expressions of hopelessness, fear or worthlessness; themes of suicide, death and dying in papers/projects
  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or other difficulties
  • Peer concern about a fellow student (in class, lab, residence hall, club)
  • Unusual or abrupt changes in behaviors or patterns
  • Resistance to change or reasonable limits
  • Displays of paranoia or distrust
  • Online postings to social media sites that indicate a threat to self or others
  • Preoccupation with weapons, violent events or persons who have engaged in violent acts
  • References to harming others or planning a violent or destructive event
  • Evidence of depression, hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts/plans
  • Inappropriate responses such as prolonged irritability, angry outburst, or intense reactions
  • Strained interpersonal relations, isolating behaviors, or low self-esteem

Refer to a case manager

If you are not sure if a student’s behavior calls for a referral, please contact SSCM to discuss your concerns.

Student information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and disclosed only in the event of an emergency, health/safety risk, and/or an educational need to know basis within the institution. Campus staff, faculty and students may refer a student to SSCM by submitting through our online form that goes directly to a case manager, via phone, or by email.

Referrals can be made by completing an online referral form. Although referrals can be made 24 hours a day, SSCM is generally available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also email sscm@colorado.edu or call 303-492-7348.The online referral is preferred because it asks specific questions and it is in the reporting person’s own words.

If you think you need immediate consultation or response you should consider calling 911. If it is after-hours and not a situation best managed through the police, you can call Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) for 24-hour support at 303-492-2277.

Calls to CAPS are not reported to SSCM due to confidentiality restrictions. It is recommended that you also complete an SSCM referral, even if you receive assistance through CAPS.

When a referral is submitted through the online reporting process, it is delivered to the SSCM email. The report is evaluated and outreach to the student is normally made on the same day that the report is received (not including times when our offices are closed). We collaboratively work with the student and when appropriate, other involved parties to determine needed resources and develop an action plan appropriate to the level of concern.

Keep in mind:

  • A student’s relationship with this office is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Without the student’s expressed consent, we are limited in what we can discuss regarding student-specific information.
  • Situations involving an alleged threat of harm to self will typically result in a referral to Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS).
  • There is no time limit or deadline for resolution. A student’s relationship with our office lasts as long as needed for the student to be successful.

We will gladly answer general and specific questions you may have. It is important to note that we may not be able to share all of the details or outcomes; however, we rely on you to contact us if you have questions. We recommend that, whenever possible, you wait approximately one week before contacting us with questions. There are some cases that are more pressing, so you can call us anytime you need information sooner.

One of the most important things to understand about Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is that what a college official sees, hears, experiences or personally observes is not governed by FERPA – at all – unless it is drawn from a written or recorded source or it is subsequently memorialized in a written or recorded form. At that point, release of information from the written or recorded version is governed by FERPA. What the official saw, heard or observed can still be shared with anyone deemed appropriate. It is not part of an educational record.

When there is a credible threat to the health and/or safety of a student, the campus, or any member of the campus community, FERPA authorizes college officials to release information from educational records, to anyone necessary, to avert the threat. Prior to the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, this provision was construed narrowly; subsequent changes to FERPA have relaxed this stance. The Family Policy Compliance Office will now be hands-off, showing deference to college officials’ determination of what constitutes an emergency and what information needs to be released to whom.

If you would like additional information regarding FERPA, please review the Office of the Registrar’s website, or contact the Office of University Counsel at 303-492-7481 for further guidance.