Faculty and Staff Guide
Faculty and staff members are often in a unique position to identify and help students who are in distress. Sometimes students cannot or will not turn to family or friends. A student may view you as a trustworthy person in whom to confide. Your expression of concern may be a critical factor in saving a student’s academic career or even their life. The purpose of this page is to help you recognize some of the symptoms of student distress and identify specific options for interventions and referrals to campus resources. The Wellness Center is available to assist you with these situations and to consult with you on how to intervene with a student.
Along with the ordinary life stressors, graduate students can struggle with their own special challenges that coincide with early, middle, and later adulthood. These include adjusting to a new environment, effectively managing academic transition times, dealing with career path issues, handling financial and family responsibilities, microaggressions, and discrimination and maintaining productive relationships with faculty and students. The stress can overwhelm their capacity to cope. Students may feel alone, isolated, and even hopeless when faced with academic and life challenges. These feelings can easily disrupt academic performance and may lead to dysfunctional coping and serious consequences such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, and/or attempts, self-injury, interpersonal conflict, or other mental health concerns.