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For Faculty - What to look for

While each distressed person will likely experience a variety of different symptoms, there are some common warning signs. To prevent possible overreaction to a single or an isolated behavior, it is advisable to look for clusters of signs that appear at approximately the same time or to look for a pattern of continued or escalating concerning behavior.

Since most of your interactions with students will be related to academics, this is likely where you will notice the most manifestation of symptoms.

  • Grades dramatically decrease
  • Poor attendance
  • Missing deadlines
  • Poor concentration
  • Erratic or disruptive behavior
  • Markedly less interest than in the past
  • Strange or disturbing content in papers or emails

Emotional symptoms may be evident. Look for changes that occur quickly and behaviors that are a departure from the student’s normal behaviors.

  • Apathy
  • Decrease in sense of self worth
  • Emotionally withdrawn
  • Impulsivity
  • Demanding behaviors
  • Strange behaviors
  • Poor contact with reality
  • Excessive anger or preoccupation
  • Talk of death
  • Other students express concern

Symptoms of stress and decline often manifest physically. The following, combined with other symptoms, should be observed and noted:

  • Troubling change in appearance
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Sloppiness
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Sleeping in class
  • Possession of a weapon, particularly a firearm
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