University of Rochester


There is a UCC professional on-call 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, for emergencies

UCC On-Call: (585) 275-3113

Life Line: (585) 275-5151

On Campus Security Emergency x13

On Campus Security Non-Emergency: 5-3333

Off-Campus Security: (585) 275-3333

Contact UCC

UCC Location & Hours

Appointments: (585) 275-3113

Fax Number: (585) 442-0815

Address:
Box 270356, 738 Library Road
UHS Building
Rochester, New York 14627

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Last modified: Thursday, 15-Mar-2012 14:16:53 EDT

University Counseling Center (UCC)

What You Should Know About Responding to Distressd or Distressing Students

Because you come in frequent contact with many students, you are in an excellent position to observe students, identify those who are in distress, and offer assistance. Your care, concern, and assistance will often be enough to help the student. At other times, you can play a critical role in referring a student for appropriate assistance and in motivating him/her to seek such help. A few guidelines for responding to distressed or distressing students are summarized below:

OBSERVE: The first important step in assisting distressed students is to be familiar with the symptoms of distress and attend to their occurrence. An attentive observer will pay close attention to direct communications as well as implied or hidden feelings.

INITIATE CONTACT: Don't ignore strange, inappropriate or unusual behavior - respond to it! Talk to the student privately, in a direct and matter-of-fact manner, indicating concern. Early feedback, intervention, and/or referral can prevent more serious problems from developing.

OFFER SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE: Among the most important helping tools are interest, concern, and attentive listening. Avoid criticism or sounding judgmental. Summarize the essence of what the student has told you as a way to clarify the situation; provide hope that things can get better. Encourage positive action by helping the student define the problem and generate coping strategies. Suggest other resources that the student can take advantage of: friends, family, clergy, or professionals on campus.

SUGGESTIONS:

DISCUSS OPTIONS TO HELP THE STUDENT:

WHAT IF I'M UNEASY ABOUT MEETING WITH A STUDENT:

CONSULT WITH THE UR UCC STAFF: In your attempt to help a student, you may need input from a professional. The counseling staff can suggest possible approaches to take, provide you with support, or intervene directly with students. Call us for assistance at 275-3113.

Helping Distressed or Distressing Students

Addendum:

References/Credits

Complete word document:
Helping Distressed or Distressing Students