Student Health & Wellness

Taking care of the people who work for you

 

  1. Identify indicators of mental health concern.
  2. Assist in a way appropriate to the indicators and the relationship you have with the student.
  3. Refer to the appropriate resources.

Identify these indicators:

  • Worrisome changes in hygiene or personal appearance
  • Significant changes in weight
  • Problems concentrating, hyperactivity
  • Constant or intense worry or anxiety
  • Unprovoked angry outbursts, general irritability
  • Persistent sadness, frequent tearfulness
  • Disengagement or isolation from others (e.g. missing classes)
  • Repeated requests for special consideration (e.g. extensions on assignments, papers or exams)
  • Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness

Assist:

  • Choose the right time and place to talk and respect the student’s right to privacy
  • Be direct and specific about what you have observed
  • Listen actively, ask questions
  • Avoid giving immediate advice, allow for silence
  • Avoid judgmental language
  • Do not promise to keep the conversation a secret
  • Discuss options and resources, offer choices
  • Instill hope that things can get better
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries, know your limits

Refer:

  • When you feel the issue is beyond your knowledge or skill
  • When you’ve tried to support, but the student is still struggling
  • When for whatever reason, the student is not comfortable talking to you
  • Prepare them for what to expect
  • Don’t push – give them the information they need and allow them to make the choice
  • Follow up, check in
  • For information on where to refer students with different types of issues, see the links under https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/hwc/services-offere
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