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How to Support a Student in Distress

For a student in immediate danger

All concerns requiring immediate intervention (i.e., a life threatening physical or mental health emergency or immediate danger, criminal activity, violent/threatening behavior, imminate suicidal behaviors) should be directed to emergency services:  

In the NU-Q Building

Within Education City

Outside Education City:

How to refer a student to Counseling and WEllness

There are several ways to make a referral to Counseling and Wellness if you are concerned about a student:

  1. Encourage the student to visit Counseling and Wellness located in 1-319 or -320.   
  2. Invite the student to accompany you to Counseling and Wellness.  Often students will agree to come to in the company of a friend or mentor when they would otherwise be reluctant to come by themselves.
  3. If appropriate, have the student call from your office phone and speak with a counselor. The counselor may invite the student to stop by the same day.

Signs of Distress

Certain events in a person’s life can trigger a crisis. What may seem of minor importance to one person can be extremely distressing to another.

The person has experienced a crisis event.

The kinds of events that may trigger a crisis in the life of a college student might include:

The person is acting differently than they normally do.

Below is a listing of possible behavioral changes you may see in a student who is in distress:

Academic behaviors:

Interpersonal behaviors:

Physical Changes

If you become concerned about a student and would like to consult with a Counseling, Health and Wellness counselor, please email or call 4454-5073/5082. Counseling and Wellness staff are available to offer consultation to anyone concerned about a student member of the university community.  Additionally, you can complete a person of concern form (anonymously if you choose) to alert the Behavioral Consultation Team of the concern for a student.  The person of concern form is for non-emergency concerns regarding student welfare and/or behavior which could impact the safety or well-being of the individual of concern and/or the campus community.


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