The Student who may be Depressed or Overly Anxious
Your responsibilities are not to
diagnose or provide therapy; it is the development of a compassionate and
forthright conversation that ultimately helps a student in trouble find
understanding, support, and the proper therapeutic resources.
is a common mental health problem that varies in severity and duration.
less serious form, depression is a temporary reaction to loss, stress, or life challenges. It can be alleviated
through the passage of time and/or the natural healing effects of warm supportive
social relationships, daily routines, and simple coping strategies like
distraction, a structured daily schedule, and exercise. Moderate to severe or
chronic depression requires professional help.
of depression may include:
- Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness
- A deep
and profound sense of sadness
inability to experience pleasure
- Irregular eating and sleeping
- Difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making
- Fatigue and social withdrawal
Facts about anxiety:
can be generalized across a range of situations, or it may be
test anxiety, social anxiety, and public speaking anxiety).
Symptoms of anxiety may include:
- Irrational fears (losing control, phobias, fear of dying or falling apart)
worry (ruminations and obsessions)
- Problems with sleeping or eating
- Substance use
depression includes irritation, anxiety, and anger (particularly in men). In
its most serious form, depression can be accompanied by self-destructive and/or
suicidal thoughts and intentions as a way to escape from the emotional pain.
shows, again and again, that depression and anxiety can be highly responsive to
both psychotherapy and medication.
to the student in a relevantly private location. You may wish to have another
University employee present or within visual or auditory range in case the
student’s behavior becomes erratic.
carefully and acknowledge the student’s feelings and experiences.
supportive and express your concern about the situation
having the student immediately call for a counseling appointment
calm and take the lead in a soothing manner
on relevant information, speaking concretely and concisely.
appropriate, consider flexible arrangements (e.g., extension on a paper or exam),
only if appropriate and without
violating your academic integrity, as a way to alleviate stress and instill
student alludes to having thoughts of suicide (See suicide section), do not
leave the student alone. Call the Counseling Center immediately (904) 620-2602,
and when possible, walk the student over to the Counseling Center.
it is after 4:30 p.m., or on the weekend, contact the UNF Police Department at (904)
make notes of this meeting given the possibility of any future interaction.