8730 Mitchell Rd
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910
It is typically a faculty member or another student in the class who notices a troubled student. It can be challenging to help someone who is under significant stress and not coping well.
When dealing with someone who is in crisis, it is important to be sensitive to how the interaction is going.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do I understand what the problem is?
Can I meet this person's expectations in this encounter?
Do I feel safe?
Be alert to the following: 1) If this is an emergency, call 911 and then contact campus Public Safety. 2) If there is no immediate threat to yourself or others, it may be that you will need to contact CSM Counseling Services and speak with the mental health counselor. 3) If the counselor is not available, contact campus Public Safety.
-Be aware of your own tolerance limits.
-Fear can be contagious, monitor your ability to stay calm.
-Crying generally inidcates the person is upset, but not necessarily in crisis.
-Anxious, tense, fearful students are responsive to reduced stimulation. It's helpful to move a student to a quiet space, remain calm, understanding, and reassuring.
-Be respectful, but do not pretend to understand a student with confused thoughts who is out of touch with reality. Do not agree or disagree with delusions or hallucination.
-When dealing with a student who is agitated or frustrated with you, be mindful that you are seen as the person with power. Express empathy, and paraphrase what has been said to be clear that you understand.
-Remain calm and keep a safe distance from someone who is angry, hostile, or demanding. Talking quietly and calmly yourself is more effective than telling the student to "calm down."
-Inquire whether the student has a relationship with a therapist in the community or has been to CSM Counseling Services. If not, suggest that he or she contact CSM Counseling Services and give him or her that contact information.
-Seek CSM Counseling Services consultation when a student expresses, either written or spoken, suicidal thoughts or ideas.