How to Help Students

Recognize the problem

  • Tardiness or excessive absences
  • Repetitive excuses
  • Recurrence of addressed concerns
  • Classroom disruption
  • Disclosure of sexual assault or harassment
  • Disclosure of relationship violence
  • Sudden or extreme changes in behavior
  • Threatening behavior
  • Disclosure of suicidal thought

What to do

  • If possible, gather information before you intervene. Knowing where to refer a depressed or anxious student ahead of time might save time and increase the student’s confidence in you.
  • Ensure privacy when you talk and choose a time when you are not preoccupied or rushed. If you are concerned about your safety or about anyone’s behavior being misinterpreted, ask your supervisor or a trusted colleague to join you and explain why to the student.
  • Be honest and direct; it’s often best to talk in very concrete terms about what’s happening.
  • Communicate hope by reminding the student that there are always options, and things tend to look different with time.
  • Respect the student’s value system and culture.
  • Follow up in a reasonable length of time.
  • Recognize that the student may not immediately welcome or act upon your interventions, but you may plant a seed that blossoms later - it's never wrong to communicate kindness and concern.
  • Consult with other professionals about your concerns by contacting any of the offices listed below. The Case Manager in Counseling Services is a great resource. You may also contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life. We are here to assist you.
  • If you do not feel comfortable addressing the student's concerns, refer the student to Counseling Services. Emergency accommodations are available. 

Helpful contact information:
UMD Counseling Services - 218.726.7913
Office of Student Life - 218.726.8502

"What to do" was created by Boynton Health Services, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Provost's Committee on Student Mental Health on the UMN Twin Cities campus.

CRISIS SITUATIONS

If a student exhibits behaviors that you feel indicate IMMEDIATE DANGER TO SELF OR SOMEONE ELSE, CALL 9-911 from a campus phone or 911 from a cell phone or other off-campus phone.

For URGENT but NON-CRISIS situations, walk with the student to Counseling Services, 615 Niagara Court.