Caring Over Email: One Professor’s Success

Students often display heightened levels of stress at particular times during the year.  Faculty can use these times as a reminder to students that the university cares for them.  The following email was shared as an example of how a faculty can encourage students to share any concerns they may have for other students.  You may copy this email or create your own.

 

Dear Students –

We know that college can be very stressful on some students, and we also know that this time of the year — with final exams, grades, and the holiday can amplify that stress.   You may have noticed a change in behavior for a friend or classmate….they may have stopped being social, stopped going to class or turning in work, missing exams/tests, etc.   In such cases, you may end up not knowing what to do to help that person, or they may have rejected your efforts to reach out to them.

If you have reason to believe that a student is in trouble or under stress to the point that he/she might hurt himself or others, or is he/she might be seriously jeopardizing his/her academic career, you should feel free to visit the following site and make a “referral”: http://studentsofconcern.ncsu.edu/.

NC State has dedicated professionals (Case Managers) who work with students when a referral is made.  They will carefully do some background on the student, and then, if they feel it is necessary, they will reach out in a non-threatening way to the student and attempt to connect him/her with the proper resources. (If submitted anonymously) Your name is not associated with the referral in any way.  You do NOT have to meet with the Case Manager.  You do NOT have to provide testimony.  The process is completely anonymous.

Being a friend sometimes means taking action.  I urge you to not be afraid to use this process, which has been proven to save lives and careers.

Of course, if a friend or classmate makes an active and affirmative statement about taking his/her life or hurting someone else, you should call 911 (preferred) or Campus Police (515-3000).

Finally, one of my big responsibilities is to be here for YOU, as an advocate, counselor, and adviser.  My door is always open (and I respond to email quickly!), and I invite you to drop by or reach out to me and talk about any difficulties you or a friend/classmate may be experiencing.