A wide variety of concerns can be addressed through the ICare process. Below are some examples of when it may be helpful to submit an ICare referral.
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- Significant changes in mood or daily functioning.
- Decline in personal hygiene and appearance.
- Difficulty caring for self (i.e. irregular sleep pattern, concerning eating pattern, routinely overexercises).
- Being under an unusual amount of stress.
- Difficulty coping with stressful life circumstance (i.e. death of family member, financial strain, physical illness, disability).
- Threatening self or others.
- Taking action to harm self/others (obtaining weapons, overdosing on pills, cutting self).
- Contemplating suicide (i.e. giving away possessions, discussing death as a means to "solve all their problems", wishing they were not alive).
- Increased irritability or aggressive behavior (i.e. resentful, abrasive, hostile, frustrated).
- Alcohol or drug use that jeopardizes relationships, interferes with academic performance, or impairs daily functioning.
- Demonstrating behavioral extremes that are more exaggerated/erratic than normal (i.e. hyper/animated, severely withdrawn, impulsive, or reckless).
- Excessive crying, clingy behavior, rejecting help offered by others, or expressing hopelessness/worthlessness.
- Isolates self.
- Has minimal social support and/or significant disengagement from social activities.
- Death of a friend, family member, or loved one.
- Being subjected to bullying or bullying others.
- Demonstrates verbal or physical aggression towards others.
- Argumentative behavior that is disproportionate to the situation.
Most academic concerns are best submitted to the Academic Concern Process. This process will provide specialized outreach and academic support. The Academic Concern referral can be access by staff and faculty members at IC and can be found here.
The following concerns should be submitted via the ICare referral process:
- Unsustainable dependence on faculty member for emotional support.
- Sharing personal information that implies distress in other areas outside of the student's academic life.
- Expressing emotionally distressed, violent, or suicidal content in writing/emails, drawing, or during classroom discussion.
- Exhibiting bizarre behavior (i.e. seemingly out-of-touch with reality, seeing/hearing things that are not there, exhibiting disjointed thoughts or paranoia).
- Exhibiting disruptive classroom behavior (i.e. argumentative, confrontational, harassing).
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.
*If something just does not feel right and you are concerned for a student, please trust your intuition and consider submitting an ICare Referral or talking through your concerns with us by calling (607)274-7731.