Examples - How to Assist Students with Problems
Behavior Assessment and Intervention Team
The Behavior Assessment and Intervention Team reviews behavioral incidents and ensures a systematic response to students whose behavior may be disruptive or harmful to themselves or the UT Dallas community and to assist in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of students and other members of the UT Dallas community.
Visit the Judicial Affairs BAIT page for more information.
Student Self Report: A student comes into your office and begins to describe problems that are interfering with her academic work and personal well being. She describes difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, restlessness and fatigue. She also states that she has been dealing with some "personal concerns" lately. She states that she has been anxious and knows that her grades have been dropping. She seems visibly upset while telling you about her problem.
After listening attentively to the nature of the situation, summarize as clearly as possible what the student told you. Ask how she has been coping with her anxiety. Reassure her that she can be helped.
The appropriate referral would be the Counseling Center. You might introduce the subject in this manner: "This seems to be a personal problem that is affecting you well-being and academic progress. Often, people find it helpful to talk with someone at the Counseling Center to gain some support in coping with this stress." Remember to add that the service is confidential and at no charge.
At this point, pay particular attention to any concerns or questions the student may have about using professional help. Your opinion and your confidentiality in making a referral will be important to the student. After addressing any concerns the student may have, you might continue with something like this statement: "We could call the Counseling Center now and tell them you will be coming over. Would you like me to do that?" Remember, the ultimate decision to seek help rests with the student and not with the person making the referral.
Call for help: You are reading a journal submitted by a student. The student has written that he does not feel that there is any purpose to living and believes that the best solution for him is to die. You decide to call the student into your office after the next class period to talk with him. You read the statement that he has written and ask if he can tell you what he meant. The student states that he has been feeling very hopeless, his grades have been dropping, he cannot get along with his friends, he has angry outbursts and finds himself in fights, and is despairing about his future.
At this point, it is extremely important to convey to this student that you take his concerns seriously. You might state that he seems to be in a great deal of pain and that you are quite concerned about him.
It is important to state that you believe that he would be best helped by talking with someone who could understand the hopelessness that he must be feeling. State that the best person to help him get some relief from his feeling would be a professional counselor. State also that you believe it is important for him to get some help without delay. In many of these situations, it is often helpful if you offer to walk to the Counseling Center with the student.
It would be best if you were to call the Counseling Center and alert the receptionist that you are bringing a student over.
If you believe a student is suicidal but the student refuses help, you should take action by turning the matter over to Counseling Center staff. They may be reached during the day at ext. 2575 or after hours by contacting the campus police.
The campus or UT Dallas police can provide assistance if a student is acting strangely or violently. The officers have experience working with students in crisis and can provide options for further assistance. They will contact Counseling Center personnel if needed. The police number is 911 on campus or 972-883-2222 if calling from off campus.