How to Help Students In Crisis

  • Talk to the student privately
  • Remain calm
  • Listen carefully and validate the student’s feelings and experiences
  • Express care and concern, and offer assurance that you will help them find resources/a professional
  • If you are concerned that the student might be suicidal, ask if they have thoughts about harming themself
  • Take any disclosure as a serious plea for help
  • If immediate therapeutic need is indicated, escort the student to Mental Health Services (S-109)
  • Additional resources and helpful information is available at:

How to Make a Referral for Mental Health Services

Responding to distressed students in an empathic manner, validating their feelings, and helping them discuss problems and/or talk through solutions goes a long way in helping!  There are signs though that students need professional help, including:

  • The student remains in a high level of distress or seems to repeatedly be in crisis despite attempts to help and/or provide resources
  • Social withdrawal or disconnection
  • Changes in appearance (looking unkempt) or behavior (i.e. increased isolation and irritability, statements about feeling overwhelmed or hopeless)
  • Academic difficulties/performance declines

Steps to address concerns with the student and make a referral:

  • Talk privately with the student about your concerns in a direct and straightforward way
  • Be caring but firm about why you think counseling would be helpful
  • Be knowledgeable about the services offered and remind students that they are free and confidential
  • Encourage the student to make an appointment, either on their own or with your assistance. At times, it may be helpful to walk the student to the Student Services building to connect with the therapist.
  • If you need help deciding if a referral is appropriate, please reach out via email or phone call (  or (218) 733-6844).

Consultations and Presentations

Faculty and staff consultations are welcome as time allows or by appointment.  Feel free to call, email, or drop in.

Presentations on mental health related topics can be conducted for faculty, staff, and students as time and scheduling allow.  Please contact Amy via email or phone to discuss your request.