How to help a student in need

Sometimes friends are the first to notice if a fellow student seems withdrawn, depressed or anxious or is exhibiting other behavior that seems out of character. Connecticut College students have a reputation for looking out for one another and you may wish to help a fellow student who seems in need.

Having a good friend listen to a problem might be just what a person needs when things seem to be going wrong. However, you may find you are not prepared to handle some concerns that your friend in need may have. If this should happen, it is a good idea to suggest that your friend check out Student Counseling Services for more professional help, or, at the very least, a consultation.

Seeking additional help

If you aren't sure how to talk to a friend about seeking more help, the staff of the Student Counseling Services could be a resource for you. We could review the situation with you and suggest ways to communicate your concerns. When making a referral to the Student Counseling Services, you could suggest that your friend make the call to schedule an appointment (x4587), or you could go with the student to the Administrative Assistant in the Warnshuis Health Center to schedule an appointment for an evaluation. It is especially helpful to accompany your friend to the Health Center if you think the student should be seen sooner rather than later. You could even attend part of the initial session to support your friend or to express your concerns.

Avoid promising secrecy

One trap that students sometimes get into is promising never to tell anyone else about an issue or concern that another student has. While it is important to keep some things private  that is, not to gossip or broadcast personal information someone has told you  there are times when a student's well being or safety may require that you seek the assistance of a more skilled helper.

Other sources of help

If the student that you are trying to help refuses to go to  Student Counseling Services even a consultation, you could convey your concerns to one of the resources in the list below. These resources are part of the support network for students here at the College, and these people can be proactive in reaching out to students in need. They can also be a source of support for you.

  • Housefellows, Floor Governors and Area Coordinators
  • Dean of Student Life, the Associate Dean of Student Life and the Director of Residential Education and Living
  • Academic Deans, the Dean of Instruction, the Dean of Multicultural Affairs, Unity House Staff, LGBTQ Director, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Chaplains, OVCS staff
  • Campus Safety
  • Professors, Instructors, Coaches, etc.
  • Student Health Services
  • Peer Educators, Director of Student Wellness and Alcohol & Drug Education
  • The Connecticut College Care Team

If you think that a student is in imminent danger of hurting him/herself or someone else, contact Campus Safety at 860-439-2222 (or x111 from a campus phone).