Step 3: Assess Your Relationship with the Student

If you don't know the student or you don't feel comfortable dealing with the student directly, contact the Office of Student Affairs as soon as possible at 508-565-1363. If assistance is needed after hours, you may contact Campus Police at 508-565-5555 and ask for the Administrator on Call to be contacted.

If you know the student and feel comfortable approaching him/her directly, below are some strategies you can use to facilitate your conversation.

Before the Conversation

  • Ask the student to meet privately.
  • Let someone else know about the meeting (which is best scheduled during the regular business day) so that he or she can  be available to help you if necessary.

During the Conversation

  • Be direct and let the student know that you have noticed changes in his or her behavior that have caused you to become worried.
  • Explain your limits within your role and never promise to keep information confidential.
  • Set boundaries around further instances of concerning behavior, if appropriate.
  • Ask open-ended questions (How are things going for you this  semester?).
  • Listen to the student's response and do not be scared off by an emotional response. Talking about a problem or labeling a crisis is the first step toward resolving it.
  • Suggest a visit to Academic Services (x1306) if you have noticed academic signs, Counseling Services (x1331) if you have noticed psychological signs, or Health Services (x1307) if you have noticed physical signs.
  • If the student agrees to go to one of the offices, call that office before the student arrives to let them know that they should expect the student and also indicate whether you feel the student should make an appointment or be seen right away. You may accompany the student to the office if you feel comfortable. In addition, please provide specific information to these offices regarding why you are concerned.

After the Conversation

  • Inform your supervisor of the situation and your actions to that point.
  • As soon as possible, notify the Office of Student Affairs (x1363) to express your concern and inform them of your actions as well.