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Helping Distressed Students Heidi Frie NDSU Counseling Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Helping Distressed Students Heidi Frie NDSU Counseling Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping Distressed Students Heidi Frie NDSU Counseling Center

2 Rationale n The “Mental Health Crisis” on Campus n Some Statistics n “Gatekeeper” Concept

3 Overview n Recognizing a “distressed” student n Helping a “distressed” student n Campus resources

4 Recognizing Distressed Students n Marked Change in Academic Performance or Behavior –Poor performance and preparation –Excessive absences or tardiness –Repeated requests for special consideration especially when this represents a change from previous functioning –Avoiding participation –Dominating discussions –Excessively anxious when called upon –Disruptive behavior –Exaggerated emotional response that is obviously inappropriate to the situation

5 Recognizing Distressed Students (cont.) n Unusual Behavior or Appearance –Depressed or lethargic mood –Hyperactivity or very rapid speech –Deterioration in personal hygiene or dress –Dramatic weight loss or gain –Strange or bizarre behavior indicating loss of contact with reality –Observable signs of an injury –Excessive worry, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness –Social isolation –Extreme difficulty making decisions

6 Recognizing Distressed Students (cont.) n References to Emotional or Life Stressors –Problems with roommates, family, or romantic partners –Experiencing a death of a significant other –Experiencing a physical or sexual assault –Experiencing discrimination based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disabilities –Experiencing legal or financial difficulties –Any other problem or situation that is experienced as a loss or stress

7 Recognizing Distressed Students (cont.) n References to Suicide, Homicide or Death –Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness –Verbal or written references to suicide –Verbal or written references to homicide or assaultive behavior –Isolation from friends, family and classmates

8 Helping Distressed Students n Reach Out –Discuss your observations and express concerns Plan to spend some time Find a private setting Allow the person to talk freely

9 Helping Distressed Students (cont.) n Listen –Give the student your attention use open questions be open to hearing more steer away from judgement and quick answers show interest and concern respect the student’s values and beliefs offer hope do not promise to keep the information private

10 Helping Distressed Students (cont.) n Referring - When & Why –You are not comfortable handling the situation –The help necessary is not your expertise –You know the student personally –The student is reluctant to talk with you –You notice little change –You feel overwhelmed or pressed for time

11 Helping Distressed Students (cont.) n Referring - How –Be clear about the limits of your time, expertise, objectivity –Reassure that many students seek help –Explain what the student may be able to expect from the referral –Walk the person over to CC, send the person over to CC, or help the student make an appointment

12 Consultation n In emergency situations, contact campus police n Contact us for help in –assessing the seriousness of situation –suggesting potential resources –finding the best way to refer –clarifying your own feelings about the situation

13 The Counseling Center n Academic, Career, & Personal Counseling –All services confidential –Start with an “Initial Consultation” –Available for “walk-ins” –Emergency service after hours n Consultation n Outreach n FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON HELPING DISTRESSED STUDENTS, PLEASE ALSO SEE: –http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/counseling/referrals.shtmlhttp://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/counseling/referrals.shtml –


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