A message to all faculty and staff from ASU Counseling Services

Promoting student welfare and campus safety:

At ASU we are committed to the success and well-being of our students. We recognize that during this time of the semester, students may be particularly vulnerable to stress and anxiety related to academic pressures. While most students face life stressors with no significant problems, a small but significant portion of students may experience more serious mental or behavioral health issues as a result of stress.  For these students, stress may be more likely to interfere with personal and academic goals. For some, stress may even result in thoughts of self-harm or suicide. As someone who interacts with students on a regular basis, you are in a pivotal position to identify behavior that may be of concern. Your expression of concern and empathy can be helpful to a student in distress.

We are aware that it can be difficult to know when to be concerned about a student, especially for those who are not mental health professionals. Students experiencing stress or a sense of being overwhelmed may exhibit their problems in a variety of ways. While there is no “template” for identifying a concerning student, the following are some warning signs that may indicate distress or a significant emotional concern:

•    Marked nervousness, agitation, or irritability
•    Inappropriately aggressive or abrasive behavior
•    Excessive procrastination and/or poorly prepared work
•    Pattern of infrequent class attendance, little or no work completed
•    Apparent depression or lack of energy
•    Marked change in personal hygiene
•    Withdrawal, indecisiveness and/or confusion
•    Comments (written or verbal) that suggest thoughts about harming oneself, or any threats to another person.
•    Bizarre, alarming statements, or evidence that a student is engaging in dangerous behavior

If you find that you are concerned about a student, it is important to know that there are steps you can take and resources available to support you.  We encourage you, if possible, to speak directly to the student and express your concern. We also want you to be aware of and seek consultation from University resources, such as those listed below.  We are here to help!

•    ASU Counseling Services staff is available to provide consultation anytime between 8am-5pm, Monday thru Friday (480.965.6146 will connect you to any of our 4 campus locations). After business hours, call the EMPACT ASU-dedicated hotline at 480.921.1006. More information about ASU Counseling Services can be found at http://eoss.asu.edu/counseling
•    Student Advocacy and Assistance in the Dean of Students office guides students in resolving educational, personal and other difficulties by linking students with appropriate university and community resources https://eoss.asu.edu/dos/srr/StudentAdvocacyandAssistance
•    For emergency situations call the ASU Police Department (911)
•    For more information about campus safety resources for faculty and staff, please visit: https://eoss.asu.edu/dos/Safety

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for all of the work you do to support the success and well-being of our students.

Barbara Meehan, Ph.D.
Director, ASU Counseling Services
barbara.meehan@asu.edu