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How to provide assistance to Mild/Moderate Troubled Students:

Mildly-troubled students may exhibit behaviors which do not disrupt others but may indicate something is wrong and that assistance is needed. Behaviors may include:

  • Serious academic problems or a change from consistently passing grades to unaccountably poor performance.
  • Excessive absences, especially if the student has previously demonstrated consistent attendance.
  • Unusual or markedly changed patterns of interaction, e.g., avoidance of participation, excessive anxiety when called upon, domination of discussions, etc.
  • Other characteristics that suggest the student is having trouble managing stress successfully e.g., a depressed or lethargic mood, very rapid speech, swollen or red eyes, marked changes in personal dress and hygiene, falling asleep during class.

Moderately-troubled students may exhibit behaviors that indicate significant emotional distress. They may also be reluctant or unable to acknowledge a need for personal help. Behaviors may include:

  • Repeated requests for special consideration, such as deadline extensions, especially if the student appears uncomfortable or highly emotional while disclosing the circumstances prompting the request. 
  • New or repeated behavior which pushes the limits of decorum and which interferes with effective management of the immediate environment.
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses which are obviously inappropriate to the situation.

For these behaviors or problems you can choose to handle them in the following ways:

  • Deal directly with the behavior/problem according to classroom protocol.
  • Address the situation on a more personal level.
  • Consult with a colleague, department head, Dean of Students Office professional, or a campus counseling professional.
  • Refer the student to one of the University's resources.

How to provide assistance to a severely troubled/disruptive student:

For these behaviors or problems you can choose to handle them in the following ways:

  • Remain calm and know who to call for help, if necessary. Find someone to stay with the student while calls to the appropriate resources are made. 
  • Remember that it is not your responsibility to provide the professional help needed for a severely troubled/disruptive student. You only need to make the necessary call and request assistance.
  • When a student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, or acts in a bizarre, highly irrational or disruptive way, call the University Police Department at (828) 262-8000.

Emergency Services

The Counseling Center offers after-hours emergency coverage for urgent mental health concerns such as suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, and other trauma.  Call the Counseling Center at 828-262-3180 and select the option to speak with the counselor on-call.

For additional resources see our Emergency Services page.

Prevent Suicide Block