When to Refer a Student
Indicators of Distress: What to Look For
Be aware of the following indicators of distress. Look for groupings, frequency, duration, and severity - not just isolated symptoms.
- Sudden decline in quality of work and grades
- Repeated absences
- Disorganized performance
- Multiple requests for extensions
- Overly demanding of faculty and staff time and attention
- Bizarre content in writings or presentations
- You find yourself doing more personal rather than academic counseling during office hours
- Marked changes in physical appearance including deterioration in grooming, hygiene, or weight loss/gain
- Excessive fatigue/sleep disturbance
- Intoxication, hangovers, or smelling of alcohol
- Disoriented or "out of it"
- Garbled, tangential, disconnected, or slurred speech
- Behavior is out of context or bizarre
- Delusions and paranoia
- Self-disclosure of personal distress such as family problems, financial difficulties, contemplating suicide, grief
- Unusual/disproportional emotional response to events
- Excessive tearfulness, panic reactions
- Irritability or unusual apathy
- Verbal abuse (e.g., taunting, badgering, intimidation)
- Expressions of concern about the student by his/her peers
Safety Risk Indicators
- Unprovoked anger or hostility
- Physical violence (shoving, grabbing, assault, use of weapon)
- Implying or making a direct threat to harm self or others
- Academic assignments dominated by themes of extreme hopelessness, rage, worthlessness, isolation, despair, acting out, suicidal ideations/violent behaviors - a "cry for help"
- Stalking or harassing
- Communicating threats via email, correspondence, texting, or phone calls
Frequent Examples of Referable Concerning Behaviors
- Unusual or erratic behavior in class, in the residence halls, during advising sessions, etc.
- Extended absence from class or activities by a typically engaged student
- Written work or creative expression with troubling themes or references
- Verbal or written threats made by a student toward another students, faculty, and/or staff
- Written or verbal expressions of suicidal ideation or intent
- Other actions that cause an alarm or call into question the safety of the student or his/her peers
How to Refer a Student
Campus staff and faculty can refer a student to the Students of Concern Committee by submitting a CARE Report through our secure online form here.
If you have questions about submitting a report, please call 510-664-4218.
NOTE: The Team is NOT for EMERGENCIES
- The phone number listed above is not a 24-hour service to access to support
- If there is an immediate threat to a student (either through self-harm or interpersonal violence) or the community, please call 911 or 510-642-3333.
- If you believe a student is in need of immediate psychological help, when Counseling & Psychological Services is open call 510-642-9494; after hours call 510-643-7197.