Dealing with Students in Crisis


Emotional distress can seriously interfere with a student's ability to perform well in class. Professors are in a unique position to recognize distressed students and intervene. This section offers links to handbooks and materials to guide professors in recognizing students in crisis and acting appropriately to help the student. Although the interventions may be specific to the colleges that created the documents below, the guidelines and procedures are universally useful.


General Resources

"Dealing with Students in Crisis" (New York City College of Technology).
This handbook is designed to help faculty recognize students at risk of academic failure due to emotional crises and provide appropriate interventions. Crises discussed range from troubling personal issues to suicidal, violent, or threatening students.

Tips for Recognizing Troubled Students (Buffalo State College).
Tips for recognizing troubled students and suggestions for helping them.

Tips for Faculty and Staff in Dealing with Students in Emotional Distress (California State University at Chico).
State University at Chico, Psychological Counseling Center).
Methods for dealing with a range of student behaviors from the anxious or dependent student to the suicidal or verbally aggressive student. Each link contains a list of Dos and Don’ts for the particular behavior being discussed.

Assisting the Emotionally Distressed Student (California State University, Long Beach, Counseling and Psychological Services).
Additional methods for dealing appropriately with a broad range of troubling student behaviors.

Responding to Distressed Students (University of California, Santa Barbara, Counseling Services)
Pull down the “Concerns About …” menu for material on student problems ranging from abusive dating relationships to substance abuse and irrational behavior. Also click on Pathways to Healing and pull down the Resources menu. Each problem listed leads to a page of information, including dos and don’ts for faculty.

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Michigan State University Resources

Counseling Center: For Faculty and Staff

If You Have A Student in Distress

Faculty/Staff Guide for Assisting Students in Distress

Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities

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