Mildly Troubled Students (Distressed)

These students may exhibit behaviors that do not disrupt others but may indicate something is wrong and that assistance is needed. Behaviors may include:

  • Serious grade problems or a change from consistently passing grades to unaccountably poor performance
  • Excessive absences, especially if students have previously demonstrated consistent attendance
  • Unusual or markedly changed patterns of interaction including avoidance of participation, excessive anxiety when called upon, domination or discussion, etc.
  • Emotionally troubling characteristics that suggest students are having trouble managing stress successfully, i.e. a depressed, lethargic mood, very rapid speech, swollen and/or red eyes, marked change in personal dress and hygiene, falling asleep during class, etc.
  • Mild or inconsistent symptoms typically characteristic of a psychological disorder, i.e. mood swings, inattention, lethargy
  • Frequent and unrealistic need for attention from instructor
  • Inability to recognize and respect appropriate boundaries
  • Appears generally angry at the world, blames others for problems

Moderately Troubled Students (Disturbed)

These students may exhibit behaviors that indicate significant emotional distress. They may also be reluctant or unable to acknowledge a need for personal help. Behaviors may include:

  • Repeated requests for special consideration, such as deadline extensions, especially if students appear uncomfortable or highly emotional while disclosing the circumstances prompting the request
  • New or repeated behaviors that push the limits of decorum and interferes with the effective management of the immediate environment. An example might be repeated “off topic” questions during a lecture(s)
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses which are obviously inappropriate to the situation
  • Unusual and/or bizarre behavior
  • Suspected substance use and/or abuse
  • Threatens to harm others

Severely Troubled/Disruptive Students (Dysregulated)

These students may exhibit behaviors that signify an obvious crisis that necessitate emergency care. These problems are the easiest to identify. Behaviors may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Highly disruptive behavior, i.e. hostility, aggression, violence, abusive relationships, etc.
  • Deficits in skills or functions that regulate emotion, i.e. cognition, emotion, behavior, and relationships
  • Inability to communicate clearly, i.e. garbled, slurred speech, disconnected, disjointed, or rambling thoughts
  • Loss of contact with reality, i.e. seeing or hearing things that others cannot see or hear, beliefs or actions greatly at odds with reality or probability such as visual, auditory and olfactory hallucinations
  • Stalking behaviors
  • Inappropriate communications, i.e. threatening letters, e-mails, harassment, etc.
  • Overtly suicidal thoughts:
    • Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, or suicidal acts
    • Referring to suicide as a current option or in a written assignment
  • Harms others, destroys property, etc.