Recognizing need for support

Parents, friends, faculty and staff are often the first individuals to notice signs of distress in students. The following may indicate that a student is in distress and in need of help:

  • Significant change in appearance (including hygiene, weight gain/loss), personality, attitude, mood, or behavior
  • Impairment in academic, social, &/or job performance & functioning
  • Change in sleep (oversleeping or insomnia)
  • Change in appetite (eating too much or very little)
  • Social withdrawal/isolation
  • Irritability
  • Increase in or frequent use of substances (alcohol and/or other drugs)
  • Problems with concentration, energy and/or motivation
  • Odd/bizarre speech or reasoning
  • Aggressive, violent behavior or threats
  • Attention-getting behavior
  • Talk of/fascination with death or dying
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, purposelessness
  • Direct/indirect threats of harm to self