Have you ever wondered what you would, could or should say if you are concerned about a friend, co-worker or child? See below for some suggestions.
FAQ's - Parents and Family
How can I best support my student from a distance?
Consider having a conversation with your student about how and how often they would like contact with you when they are at school. For some, texting may be less intrusive than a call. Try to balance interest in their college life and being respectful of their independence.
How should I encourage them to succeed academically?
Try to avoid an excessive focus on grades. Ask them how they are doing generally, not just about their last test score. Remember that not every student who excelled in high school will be a straight-A student at IU. Encourage your student to take advantage of the many resources on campus to help them succeed academically.
What about finances?
We encourage you to talk with your student about money and spending before they come to school. Try to have a detailed plan about who will pay for tuition, fees, books and room and board, as well as what the family’s expectations are about spending money. If finances are very tight, encourage your student to explore all possible sources of assistance. Start early. Enlist the help of the high school guidance counselor.
What if I think my student has hit an emotional rough patch?
Try for a middle ground. Don’t rush in to rescue, but at the same time offer support and a listening ear. Express faith in your student’s ability to problem solve. You also may want to suggest a visit to a counseling service on campus. Ask your student how you can be helpful.
- College Parents of America
- National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
- The U.S. Department of Education's Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention
- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
FAQ's - Faculty and Staff
What if I am concerned a student might be suicidal, but I am not sure I can tell?
Listen to your intuition. Suggest the student come to your office, express your concern and ask how they are feeling. Ask directly if they have been thinking about suicide. Depending on their response you may want to suggest they contact your campus counseling office. Contact information for each respective campus counseling office is available here.
If you are concerned that a student appears to be immediately at risk, including being affected by alcohol or drugs, call the Indiana University Police Department at 9-1-1 or at their local contact number.
What if I feel that a student is being manipulative, trying to avoid completion of an academic task because of an ‘emotional problem’?
Balance staying firm with regard to the standards of the class and at the same time suggest that the student may want to seek counseling. Take all signs of suicide seriously and address any immediate risks. Encourage the student to contact the campus office for disability services and provide documentation for academic accommodations.
What are some signs that a student may be struggling emotionally?
- Change in classroom functioning – poor attendance after steady attendance, drop in quality of work
- Change in interactions with others, avoiding participation, hostile interactions
- Unusual, exaggerated emotional reactions, not appropriate to the situation
- Writing or speaking in an odd, disorganized manner
- Coming to class apparently under the influence of a substance
What should I do if I am concerned about a student’s emotional state?
If you are concerned about the immediate safety of the student or others, contact the campus police at 9-1-1. For additional assistance, contact your campus counseling office on the campus resources page.
FAQ's - Students
If I am having some problems how do I go about finding a counselor on campus?
Please contact your campus counseling office. You will be able to talk with trained counselors on issues such as relationship problems, trauma/recovery, emotional distress, depression, etc.
What if I feel in crisis?
During business hours contact your campus counseling office. At any time, contact a local or national crisis hotline. If you feel you are in a critical state of emotional distress, contact your campus police department or call 911.
If I am concerned that a friend might be suicidal, what should I do?
- Talk to your friend, let them know you are concerned, and ask directly if they are considering suicide.
- Tell them about your campus’ counseling office
- Consider walking them to the office
- Talk to others who are trained to respond to this type of situation, such as an RA or a faculty member
- If the danger is imminent call 911