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Identifying Behaviors

Tips for Recognizing Troubled Students

At one time or another everyone feels upset or distressed. However, there are three levels of student distress which, when present over a period of time, suggest that the problems are more than the "normal" ones.

Level 1
  • Changes in academic performance in the classroom
  • Significant drop in examination scores
  • Change in pattern of interaction
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Problems concentrating and remembering things or making decisions
  • Level 2
    • Repeated request for special consideration
    • New or regularly occurring behavior which pushes the limits and may interfere with class management or be disruptive to other students, faculty or staff
    • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses
    • Persistent sadness or unexplained crying
    • High levels of irritability or inappropriate excitement
    Level 3
    • Highly disturbed behavior
    • Outbursts of anger
    • Inability to communicate clearly
    • Irrational conversation or speech that seems disconnected
    • Loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing things that are not there, beliefs or actions at odds with reality)
    • Suspiciousness, irrational feelings of persecution
    • Statements related to death or dying or feelings of hopelessness
    • Threats of harming self or harming others

    What Can You Do To Help

    Responses to Level 1 and 2 Behavior
    • Talk to the student in private when you both have time
    • Express your concern in non-judgmental terms
    • Listen to the student and repeat the gist of what the student is saying
    • Identify options available to the student
    • Clarify the costs and benefits of each option for handling the problem from the student's point of view
    • Respect the student's value system
    • Ask if the student is considering suicide
    • Make appropriate referrals if necessary
    • Make sure the student understands what action is necessary and make plans to follow-up with the student on this action
    Responses to Level 3 Behavior
    • Stay calm
    • Find someone to stay with the student if possible
    • Call Campus Police at 817-272-3003

    Responding to Suicidal Concerns

    When a student makes any reference to suicide, threat of suicide, or attempt at suicide, a judgment should be made by a mental health professional about the seriousness of a possible suicidal thought or behavior. Suicide attempts are first and foremost a medical emergency. If danger or suicidal behavior appears imminent: 1) Stay calm and 2) Contact Campus Police at 817-272-3003 or dial 911.

    To Save a Life Remember QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer)

    Question the person about suicide
    Persuade the person to get help
    Refer for help


    Global Community

    Every spring, the International Student Organization plans the popular International Week, which includes a parade, food fair, fashion show, and more.

    International Student Organization