Student Related Resources
It can be hard to reach out to people in need, particularly when we don't know them. The University of Texas at Arlington encourages you to assist students in distress or contact those at the university who are trained to help.
Please read below for additional resources on how to help.
For academic concerns, contact the coinciding department chair or associate dean of the college.
Safety is an immediate concern; Verbal or physical threats to harm others; Active threats of suicide and resists help.
If student is dangerous or threatening harm to self or others call 911.
Safety is not an immediate concern; Threatens harm to self or others, but will accept help; Demonstrates bizarre behavior or communication; Disruptive to the living/learning environment.
What are the warning signs of disruptive behavior?
Disruptive or disturbing students exhibit behaviors that signify an obvious crisis and necessitate more immediate intervention. Examples include:
- Highly disruptive behavior (e.g. verbal hostility, aggression, disregard for classroom decorum and expected conduct, etc.); failure to comply with corrective feedback
- Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, pressured speech; disorganized, confused, or rambling thoughts)
- Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things which others cannot see or hear; irrational beliefs or fears that others may be conspiring against them)
- Stalking behaviors and inappropriate communications (including threatening letters, e-mail messages, harassment)
- Suicidal thoughts and/or threats to harm others (may be communicated orally or in written formats through e-mail, assignments, or on social network or academic sites)
How should I respond to a disruptive or disturbing behavior?
- If immediate safety is a concern or the person acts in a highly irrational or disruptive way, call 911
- If safety is not a concern, attempt to deescalate the situation; offer to find someone to assist in problem-solving; meet and work on a solution
- Talk with your supervisor for additional assistance
- Consult with Counseling Services or the UT Arlington Police Department.
- Always notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
A student who is troubled, confused, very sad, highly anxious, irritable, lacks motivation and/or concentration; has thoughts about not wanting to live; difficulties in interactions with others.
What are some signs a student may be troubled?
Students in distress may not be disruptive to others, but may exhibit behaviors which indicate something is problematic. They may also be reluctant or unable to acknowledge a need for personal help. Behaviors may include:
- Marked changes in academic performance
- Tardiness and excessive absences inconsistent with prior history
- Withdrawal and/or avoidance from participation, increased anxiety around exams or deadlines, difficulty working in teams
- Changes in emotional states, e.g., sadness, crying, lethargy, irritability, rapid speech, preoccupied, increased and more intense disagreement with peers and instructor, sense of confusion
- Changes in physical well-being, e.g. swollen eyes from crying, increased illnesses, poor self-hygiene, rapid weight loss/gain, sleeping in class
- Repeated requests for special consideration, e.g., deadline extensions, changes in requirements, grade changes
- Behaviors which may interfere with effective management of the learning environment, e.g., outbursts of anger, domination of discussion, derailing the focus of discourse
- Communication in either oral, written, or electronic formats that may suggest a threat to one’s self or others
For students who are mildly or moderately troubled:
- Address the situation on an individual level; consider having someone meet with you and student
- Consult with Counseling Services and/or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for assistance
- Avoid offering confidentiality to the student should s/he wish to talk
- Deal directly with the behavior according to classroom protocol; provide corrective feedback and offer to help
- Encourage the student to use campus and community helping resources; offer to walk the student to assistance or call and make an appointment
- Inform and consult with your supervisor
The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
The Office of Community Standards
Your exposure to students increases the likelihood you will identify signs of distress in a student. What can you do?
- Recommend campus services to the student. Remind the student that campus counseling services are confidential
- Reassure the student it is an act of strength to seek help
- Offer to help make the initial contact with the helping resource
- If the student rejects referral, consult with Counseling Services and/or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for assistance