Are you concerned about an IC student? Not sure how to initiate the conversation with them? Below are a few suggestions that may help you in telling this student about the resources available to them on campus.
- “I can’t help but notice that you [list behaviors or concerns]. Have you talked with anyone about this?”
- “Do you have anyone on campus that you think could be really helpful to you right now?”
- “Let’s submit an ICare Referral together so you can get support working through these challenges.”
- “Does anyone else on campus knows what you’ve been going through?”
When starting a conversation with a distressed student, consider taking the following steps to make the conversation productive and comfortable:
- Meet with the student in a quiet and private place where they feel comfortable to speak freely.
- Start the conversation with an observation and an expression of concern (i.e. "I've noticed that you've appeared tired and distracted lately. I am concerned about you. How are you doing?")
- Listen attentively and paraphrase what the student is saying to be sure you understand what is causing the student distress.
- Acknowledge the student's feelings, and let the student know you want to help them resolve the problem.
- Do not make judgments or minimize the concerns verbalized by the student.
- Respect the student's privacy without making false promises of confidentiality.
- Respond in a straightforward, considerate way. Help set up meetings with various campus resources or make a direct referral to a specific staff/faculty member on-campus.
- Frame any decision to seek and accept help as a positive, intelligent, and wise choice.
- Reassure them that students often seek help over the course of their college career to effectively achieve their goals.