Indications of When to be Concerned
Being aware of signals that indicate the possibility of problems can be helpful to an advisor in making a judgment about whether or where to refer a student for counseling.
The following signs may indicate that a student could benefit from a referral.
- Withdrawal from usual social interaction.
- Marked seclusion and unwillingness to communicate.
- Persistent antisocial behavior such as lying, stealing, or other grossly deviant acts.
- Lack of social skills or deteriorating personal hygiene.
- Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping.
- Loss of appetite or excessive appetite (starving or bingeing behavior).
- Unexplained crying or outbursts of anger.
- Acutely increased activity (i.e., ceaseless talking or extreme restlessness).
- Repeated absence from classes.
- Unusual irritability.
- Thought disorder (i.e., the student's conversation does not make sense).
- Suspiciousness, irrational feeling of persecution.
- Irrational worrying or expressions of fear.
Traumatic Changes in Personal Relationships (Counseling Services x3808)
- Death of a family member or a close friend.
- Difficulties in marriage or family relationships.
- Dating and courtship difficulties.
- Sexual abuse (i.e., rape, incest, harassment).
- Terminal/chronic illness of a family member.
- Indications of excessive drinking or drug abuse (i.e., binges, neglects eating or physical appearance, impaired thinking).
- Severe drug reaction (i.e., bizarre behavior, unexplained "blackouts" of memory).
- Being a child of an alcoholic or drug dependent parent.
- See Student Handbook-Alcohol and Drugs for additional information.
Academic Problems (Academic Resource Center x3190 or Director of Student Academic Success x3085)
- Dramatic drop in grade point average.
- Deficient reading speed or comprehension.
- Poor study habits.
- Incapacitating test anxiety.
- Sudden changes in academic performance.
- Lack of class attendance.
Career Choice Problems (Career Services x3828)
- Dissatisfaction with academic major.
- Unrealistic career aspirations.
- Confusion with regard to interests, abilities, or values.
- Chronic indecisiveness or choice conflict.
- Uncertainty of career alternatives.
Taken alone any of these signals may be insufficient to warrant intervention. However, duration of behavior, combination of signals, and the degree of intensity of indicators will determine the type of intervention needed. If you do not feel comfortable making a referral you may also send in an Academic Early Alert.