Brandeis Counseling Center

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Assisting the Emotionally Distressed Student

As a faculty or staff member interacting daily with students, you are in an excellent position to recognize behavioral changes that characterize the student with mental health needs.

Your ability to recognize the signs of emotional distress, and your courage to acknowledge your concerns directly to the student, help students feel cared for and allow for an important first step in receiving help. Oftentimes our own feelings (i.e., uneasiness, anxiety, fear) can be excellent indicators that something is not quite right.

If you ever have these types of feelings and are not quite sure what to do, this guide can be helpful. You are also welcome to call the front desk at (781)736-3730 and select option 2 to reach a clinician whenever you are concerned about a student.

Services Available at the BCC

The BCC offers short-term therapy and stabilization, group therapy, community therapy, dog therapy, psychopharmalogical assessment and medication management, alcohol and drug treatment and eating disorder treatment. A case manager is also available to make referrals to treatment in the wider community.

Symptoms Behaviors Actions


Declining performance, absences


Repeated requests for extensions, distracting in class, prolonged absences

Same actions as above AND:


Stalking, threats to others, overt suicidality, inappropriate communication, highly disruptive

  • If the student is on campus: Call Public Safety (781-736-3333)
  • If the student is off campus: Call 911
  • Do not leave student alone

Call the Counseling Center for a more extensive referral list at 781-736-3730.

Our sincere thanks to the Counseling Center at California State University, Fullerton, and the California Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education whose combined efforts we have liberally borrowed to include in this resource.