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Recognizing and Helping Students in Distress

Student edition‌

A Guide for Students The college years can be a time of discovery and excitement. However, at the same time, many changes occur that can be stressful. The typical college student is faced with changes in living situations, friendships, family relationships, and academic requirements. For some, these changes are overwhelming. Other students adjust well to these changes, but still experience struggles with emotions and behavior. Unfortunately, many college students do not know how to recognize their distress or where to go for help. This guide provides a list of indicators often displayed by students in distress, as well as a list of available resources. For more information, please contact the Dean’s Office at 817-257-7926 or the Counseling, Testing, and Mental Health Center at 817-257-7863. 2

What to Look For: Behavioral Indicators: • Direct or indirect statements indicating distress, family problems or other difficulties

• Extreme amount of time spent on the internet • Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness

• Anger or hostility that seems unprovoked

• Expressions of concern for

• Threatening others in person

peers • Statements to the effect that

or via the internet • Impulsive behavior, acting out • More withdrawn or more animated than usual • Distorted thinking • Tearfulness • Isolation, seeing student on campus frequently alone

the student by his or her

the student is “going away for a long time” • Giving away possessions • A hunch or gut-level feeling that something is wrong

Physical Indicators • Deterioration in physical appearance • Lack of personal hygiene • Excessive fatigue • Visible changes in weight • Attending class bleary-eyed, intoxicated or smelling of alcohol/ drugs • Signs of self injurious/ selfdestructive behavior such as scars from cutting on arms • Severe depression • Any behavior which seems out of control

What You Can Do By using the above indicators you may be in a good position to help recognize a friend who may be in distress and could benefit from assistance. You can discuss your observations with the student and also contact helping resources on campus.

Contact On-Campus Resources TCU Police If you have concerns about a student’s imminent safety- notify Campus Police immediately (817) 257-7777 Campus Life- Dean’s Office (817) 257- 7926 This office is often in the best position to gather information from a variety of sources. Campus Life Deans assist students with a variety of concerns including: college adjustment, sexual assault, and crisis response to name a few. TCU Counseling Center (817) 257-7863 You can always discuss your concerns with a Counselor in the Counseling Center. You can also suggest that your friend talk about their situation with a Counselor as well. Housing & Residence Life (8187) 257- 7862 If you are a residential student- contact your Hall Director and/or RA. These staff members are trained on providing assistance in dealing with these situations and can also speak with your friend and refer them to the appropriate resource.

On- Campus Resources TCU Police

Alcohol & Drug Education





Campus Life

Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

www.campuslife.tcu.edu 257-7926

www.faith.tcu.edu 257-7830

Counseling Center

Center for Academic Services





Health Center

Housing and Residence Life





Off- Campus Resources Fort Worth Police*………….….......817-335-4222 Crisis Intervention*…….……….…..817-927-5544 Family Service **…………….……..817-927-8884 John Peter Smith Hospital*……..…817-921-3431 Mental Health Association……..….817-335-5405 MHMR………………………..……...817-335-3022 Rape Crisis Center*…….……..…...817-927-2737 Safe Haven*...…………….………...817-535-6464 FWPD Victim Assistance Unit …....817-392-4390 Tarrant County District ……....…...817-884-2740 Victim Assistance

* Services available 24 hours a day ** Offers sliding scale fees for the community

both during your time here and even upon graduation. As mentioned previously, there are times when you or a friend may experience a personal crisis that may interfere or impede your academic and/or

you in your personal and academic growth


TCU faculty and staff are here to assist

contact one of the on-campus helping resources mentioned in the previous section. For additional information, please


personal success. Please do not hesitate to

the Counseling, Testing, and Mental Health

contact the Dean’s Office at 817-257-7926 or


Center at 817-257-7863.

This publication was prepared by the Campus Life- Dean’s Office and the Counseling, Testing, and Mental Health Center

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How To Help Students In Distress  

Helping students in distress

How To Help Students In Distress  

Helping students in distress