Students & Employees in Distress

Recognize Distress

University students often encounter a great deal of stress during the course of their academic experience. While most students cope successfully with the challenges that these years bring, an increasing number of students find that the various pressures of life are unmanageable or unbearable. As individuals who work closely with students, you may encounter these distressed students in your offices or your classrooms. Many of these students have not sought counseling and may be unaware of the services available to them. Thus, your role could be a crucial and positive one in identifying and referring students who are in distress.


What to look for

The following signs may indicate a need to refer a student to the University Counseling Center:

- Marked changes in academic performance (e.g., excessively anxious when called upon, dominating discussions)

- Infrequent class attendance with little or no work completed

- Dependency (e.g., the student hangs around you or makes excessive appointments to see you during office hours)

- Chronic fatigue, lack of energy, or frequently falling asleep in class

- Abrupt/marked changes in behavior and/or appearance (e.g., hygiene, dress)

- Bizarre/inappropriate behavior and/or garbled, disjointed thoughts

- Alcohol/drug abuse

- Behavior which regularly interferes with the decorum or effective management of your class
- Overtly suicidal thoughts (e.g., referring to suicide as a current option or indirect reference to suicide or death)

- Overt references to harming someone else

- High levels of irritability, including unruly, aggressive, violent, abrasive, or otherwise disruptive behavior

- Normal emotions that are displayed to an extreme degree or for a prolonged period of time (e.g., fearfulness,
tearfulness, nervousness)

- Expressed uncertainty and anxiety about emotional stability, family situation, and/or relationship problems 


Respond to a Student

- Speak privately with student

- Directly and candidly discuss your observations and concerns

- Offer support and assistance



Employees in Distress

Not only students get distressed. Employees do too, here at Florida State University We have the Employee Assistance Program, or better known as (EAP). 

EAP provides counseling, which  is Confidential and timely problem identification/assessment services for employee clients, and their dependents, with personal concerns that may impact their lives and/or job performance. Use of constructive confrontation, motivation, and short-term intervention with employee clients to address problems that affect job performance. Referral of clients for diagnosis, treatment, and assistance, plus monitoring and follow-up services.  

Training which covers various topics including "Dealing with Difficult People"
"Conflict Communication Skills"
"Working with you is killing me", "Stressed Out","Compassion, Fatigue", and "Resilience
Team Dynamics" "EAP for Supervisors".

They also offer  Debt Management for those who may be struggling with debt or wanting to increase their credit rating. 

For more information regarding the EAP, Click Here


Additional Resources

 Assisting Distressed Students Guide

Employee Assistance Program