What if my student calls in distress?

  • Listen
  • Be supportive and open to the information
  • Assist in problem solving, but try not to rush to the rescue.

Encourage him/her/them to visit the Counseling and Wellness Center (941-487-4254, Monday-Friday 8 AM- 5 PM).

If your student indicates that they are in immediate danger, contact the Campus Police at 941-487-4210.

Ways to address student concerns

Wait – and take a breath.

  • Give yourself time to process what your student is telling you, and LISTEN

Think carefully about your response.

  • A student may fear disappointing you.
  • Be honest and direct.
  • Show support and acceptance

Acknowledge their feelings.

  • Reflect that you understand how a situation may be difficult for the student.
  • This is not the time to talk about how it is difficult for you.
  • Acknowledge your own feelings.
  • Be honest about your feelings

Take some time.

  • If your feelings are too strong to deal with right now, or if your student is too emotional, take time to think about what needs to be discussed and talk in a couple hours.

Keep your discussion as objective as possible.

  • Try to listen more than talk at first. Don’t respond yet. Get the facts.

Be rational.

  • Try to remain calm and thoughtful about the reality of the situation and options moving forward.

Be clear.

  • If there are limits to what you will support, be clear about them.
  • If you have expectations moving forward, spell them out.

Utilize your resources.

  • Depending on the concern your student has there are several resources on campus which can assist them:
    • Counseling Center
    • Disability Services
    • Advisor/Provost Office
    • Library/Academic Resource Center

(Source: http://collegeparents.org/)