What to Do If...
Someone is In Crisis and Needs Immediate Help
Signs some needs immediate help:
- Suicidal statements or behaviors/attempts
- Homicidal threats, threats of physical harm, assault, or destruction of property
- Inability to communicate:
- unclear speech
- thoughts disjointed, nonsensical
- Disoriented thoughts:
- disconnected to reality
- rambling speech
- Appears to be hallucinating:
- seeing or hearing things which are not there
- Extreme panic or manic behavior:
- unable to sit still
- strong pacing
- other intense movements
- Talking so rapidly it's hard to follow. Usually combined with:
- statements not making sense
- bizarre thoughts
- Being so drunk or high that he/she appears ready to do something dangerous:
- Leap out a window
- Walk into traffic
- Statement by the student that s/he needs help immediately.
If you are unsure if someone is in danger of harming themselves or others, don’t hesitate to call 911, or Campus Safety:
They are well-trained and able to do wellness checks on individuals of concern. It is better to be safe and a little embarrassed than to ignore a potential life threatening situation.
- Calmly explain the nature of the emergency, such as:
- "I have a student who is acting aggressively towards others"
- "A student just emailed me a suicide note"
- Provide the dispatcher with the individual’s name and location.
- Do not approach someone who is armed or engaging in aggressive behaviors, call for help.
Someone is upset, but not in immediate danger?
Talk to them about your concerns and the need for help. Actively listen to what they have to say. When you talk, use a calm voice and relaxed body posture. Don't interrupt. Show that you are listening, and are happy to hear what the person has to say.
A good way to show you have understood is to reflect out loud on what the person has said: “so, you’re very worried about that,” for instance. Accept their response – don’t criticize or argue with them. If you think something else is advisable, such as a medical check-up, calmly explain why.
- Recommend going to Hocking College’s Counseling Center during walk-in hours.
- Encourage the student to call the Hocking College Counseling Center: 740-753-6564, for more information about receiving counseling services.
- They may also call the Hopewell Health Mental Health Crisis Hotline to speak with a live person at: 1-888-475-8484, available 24 hours per day.
- If the individual begins presenting with crisis symptoms, call the Campus Police, or 911, for more immediate support.
A Student Is In Distress
If you notice a student appears to be in distress, in a safe place, talk to them and try to understand why he/she is feeling this way. Be willing to listen with caring and without judgment.
Let the student know that you are there to talk, and what they have to say is important, but that anything that depending on what is said, it may have to be reported for their safety and safety of others.
Remember you are not expected to assist students with resolving their personal issues. You are there to help link any student in need to a qualified mental health professional.
Please note, if the student of concern is exhibiting a direct or immediate threat to themselves, or you think they might be, (they are saying things like: "I want this to be over," "I don’t want to wake up any more," "I don’t see a purpose" etc.), call Campus Police:
740-753-6598 or 911, for immediate support.
You Think Someone Should See a Counselor
After listening to the student, ask if they have ever thought about counseling and explain how it might be helpful. Provide information about how to access services through the Counseling Center.
If the student is willing, you can take a more active role in getting the person help by walking them to the Counseling Center during operating office hours or assisting them with setting up an appointment.
You may also call the Counseling Center, or drop by our offices, and ask to speak to a counselor regarding a possible referral.
We understand that you may be interested in the progress of the student. However, we are bound by our code of ethics and HIPAA privacy laws. We cannot say whether a student is being seen here, has kept an appointment, or discuss their treatment without a valid release of information.