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Office of Gender Equity: Resources for Faculty and Staff

Identifying Students in Need

Identifying Students in Need

As the people who interact with students the most, faculty and staff are often in a strong position to notice when something is wrong in a student's life. Staff and faculty can be available to offer support and guidance.

Below are general indicators that a student may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD or having difficulty coping with a trauma such as sexual assault.

Academic Indicators

  • Deterioration in quality of work
  • A drop in grades
  • A negative change in classroom performance
  • Missed assignments
  • Repeated absences from class
  • Disorganized or erratic performance
  • Continual seeking of special accommodations (extensions, postponed examinations)
  • Essays or creative work portraying extremes of hopelessness, social isolation, rage, or despair

Interpersonal Indicators

  • Direct statements indicating distress or other difficulties
  • Unprovoked anger or hostility
  • Exaggerated personality traits (more withdrawn or more animated than usual)
  • Excessive dependency
  • Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Peers expressing concern about a fellow student
  • If you have a hunch or gut-level reaction that something is wrong

Physical Indicators

  • Deterioration in physical appearance
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Visible changes in weight
  • Indications of substance abuse or chemical dependency

Safety Risk Indicators

  • Any written note or verbal statement which has a sense of finality or suicidal ideation
  • Essays or papers that focus on hopelessness, helplessness, despair, suicide, or death
  • Severe depression
  • Self-destructive or self-injurious behaviors
  • Any other behavior which seems out of control or extreme

Content adapted from Kent State