How I can tell
What sorts of behaviors are indicative of a student in distress?
You know your son or daughter best, so you are probably in the best position to determine what behavior is abnormal for them. However, you should be especially listening for indications that your student is:
- Eating too much or too little
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing socially (e.g., not leaving his or her room, not going to class)
- Losing motivation to work
- Feeling too low or too high-energy
- Inappropriate or exaggerated emotional reactions
- Using alcohol/marijuana
- Difficulty concentrating
- Is tearful or agitated on the phone
When might counseling services be needed?
- A sudden drop in academic performance, especially for students who generally perform well
- Difficulty sleeping or getting out of bed nearly every day
- Feeling sad or appearing tearful nearly every day
- Social isolation or increased lethargy
- Expressions of hopelessness, e.g., "What's the point of trying?"
- Direct or indirect statements about death or suicide, e.g., "What¹s the point of living?" or "I wish I were dead"
- Avoidance of certain places or situations, or fear of being alone
- Increased irritability or restlessness
- Paranoid thinking or incoherent speech