Express Your Concerns
Concerned about a student?
Responding to a Student in Distress
Signs of distress to look for:
- Deterioration in quality of work
- Missing assignments or appointments
- Not attending classes
Physical or Emotional Signs:
- Tearfulness, sadness, anxiety
- Trouble eating or sleeping
- Withdrawing from friends and/or social activities
- Loss of interest in hobbies, work, school
- Feelings of emptiness
- Alcohol and drug use
- Anger, irritability
- Physical ailments: headaches, nausea, abdominal pain
- Emails, texts, social media posts or phone conversations that have themes of hopelessness, social isolation, rage or despair.
Get Help Immediately If You Notice:
Acting out of control, confused
Talking openly about wanting to die
Taking unnecessary or life threatening risks
Express Your Concerns
It can be difficult to see your loved one in distress, but talking to your student shows that you care even if your student has difficulty accepting your concern.
Here’s how you can help:
Be honest and express your concerns. Talk about the changes you have seen in them. Listen and offer emotional support, understanding and patience.
Convey the message that the student’s distress is real, common and treatable.
Offer to help them get assistance.
Maintain regular contact.
Contact the STA counseling department or a helping professional in your community.
Referring a Student for Counseling
Faculty, Staff, Friends
Point out that seeking help is a sign of strength. Inform the student that there is help available and they don't have to go through this alone. Let the student know that you think someone in the counseling office could help them. Faculty and Staff can offer to help the student call and/or walk them over to the counseling office for assistance.
STA counselors provide confidential consultations to parents on how to help a student in distress, how to refer a student to outside counseling, and how to locate appropriate treatment or mental health care for your student; as well as other issues that come up in the course of being a concerned parent. We encourage the student to share information with you and abide by strict confidentiality guidelines.
Our team is committed to respecting the rights of confidentiality entitled to each person in the counselor-counselee relationship. However, there are certain circumstances mandated by law in which information must be provided by the counselor to other parties. These circumstances are stated below:
- If the counselor has reason to believe the counselee is in danger of harming himself/herself or others.
- If the counselee reveals information indicating another person(s) is in danger of harming himself/herself or others.
- If the counselee has been, or is currently, a victim or perpetrator of physical or sexual abuse or a perpetrator of vulnerable adult abuse.
- If the counselee or parent/legal guardian formally requests a release of information to a health professional outside of the school setting.
- If a court orders a release of information.