AWARE Network

Recognizing Student Distress

Some common signals of emotional or psychological distress include:

  • A rapid or marked change in participation or performance in class,
  • Unusual or marked emotional response to events,
  • Mention of suicide or homicide in the content of coursework,
  • Significant change in self-care--personal hygiene, weight loss or gain, sleeping in class,
  • Unusual or inappropriate behavior or talk that concerns other students or interferes with the educational environment.

Counseling and Psychological Services offers resources for working with students in distress https://counsel.wsu.edu/for-faculty/

Signs that the student may be experiencing a mental health emergency:

  • Direct suicidal or homicidal statements
  • Confused, repetitive, or highly irrational speech
  • Extreme anxiety; panic
  • Aggressive or threatening speech and behavior
  • Inability to communicate

In these extreme instances, immediately walk the student to Counseling and Psychological Services (3rd floor; Washington Building), Health and Wellness Services (1st floor; Washington Building) or call 911 for assistance.