Avila Care Team (ACT)
If you are working with a student whom you believe is struggling with a mental health issue, you can seek a consultation with the counselor or refer him/her to Counseling & Career Services. Also, you can alert the Avila Care Team (ACT) about your concern by completing an on-line referral form found at http://www.avila.edu/
The following are some possible reasons you might be concerned about a student:
Reports change in appetite or sleep
Unusual problems with concentration
Unusual lack of motivation
Unusual mood swings
High levels of irritability or anger
Sudden lack of interest in usual pursuits
Falling asleep in class
Consistently not attending class (new behavior)
Consistent decline in grades
Overdependence – makes excessive appointments or frequently hangs around your office
Appears to use alcohol or other drugs to cope with stress
Sadness, depression, tearfulness
Strange or bizarre behavior
Noticeable decrease in personal hygiene
Makes overt or subtle statements about wanting to hurt self
Dealing with a loss or has class absence related to death of family member or friend
Class absence related to family situation
Approaching a Student with Your Concern
Invite the student to meet in a private area.
If the student seems upset, angry, or otherwise emotional, acknowledge this. “Sara, you seem sad lately.”
Briefly state your concern or your observations. “I am concerned that you seem to be having problems with concentration and completing assignments,” or “I am concerned that you have missed classes lately.”
Allow the student to talk while you listen in a non-judgmental manner.
If comfortable, help the student identify the problem and alternatives to dealing with their current stress or situation.
Depending on the issue, you may suggest the student seek counseling services and offer to help them with this.
Some Things to Keep in Mind:
Students aren’t always aware of the resources available to them on campus, particularly non-traditional students.
If you are ever unsure how to approach a student, or you are beyond your comfort level in talking with the student, the counselor is available to help.
Although you may give students the contact information and location of Counseling & Career Services, the likelihood of them getting the help they need is greater if you do one of the following:
Call Counseling & Career Services at ext. 3767 or 2901 prior to walking the student over to make an appointment.
Allow the student to call for an appointment from your office. If the counselor is not available, encourage them to leave a message with a contact phone number.