Guidelines for Intervention

If there is immediate risk to life or property, call 911.

You can have a profound affect on students when you openly acknowledge that you are aware of their distress, are sincerely concerned about their welfare, and are willing to help them explore options. Whenever possible, we encourage you to speak directly and honestly to students if you sense academic or personal distress.

  1. Request to see the student in private. This should help minimize embarrassment and defensiveness. Show respect for the student.
  2. Briefly share your observations and perceptions of the student's situation. Express your concerns directly and honestly.
  3. Listen carefully. Try to see the issues from the student's point of view without agreeing or disagreeing.
  4. Attempt to identify the problem. Is the student connected with any ongoing resources? You can help by exploring options to deal with the concern.
  5. Acknowledge inappropriate or strange behavior. Comment on what you observe without sounding judgmental.
  6. Flexibility in administering established policies may allow an alienated student to respond more effectively to your concerns.
  7. Involve yourself only as far as you are comfortable, then refer the student to the appropriate resources. As you attempt to reach out to a troubled student, do not become more involved than time or skill permits.



Discover How You Can Help

All linked information below is from the Reaching Out Handbook: Resources for Responding to Students in Distress, used with permission from Boise State University's Health Services. 

Additional Resources                

Campus Safety and Welfare Guide

Campus Resources for Student Support