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Dean of Students Office

Resources for Faculty and Staff


How to Assist a Student in Distress

traffic light signal clipart with red yellow and green lightsRed Light! Call 911 or UNF Police Department at 904-620-2800!

Urgent situation, safety is an immediate concern, individual references imminent threat of harm to self or others.

Yellow Light! Submit an SOS Referral!

No immediate threat of harm, but significant distress is exhibited. Attempts have been made to educate or change behavior but it is still present, or you don't feel comfortable addressing the behavior. 

Green Light! You Got This!

Student is in distress or exhibiting disruptive behavior, but a discussion about expectations and/or referrals to campus resources can take place. You can still submit a SOS referral to let us know, and feel free to call our office for strategies. 

Supporting a Student in a Non-Emergency Situation

Faculty, instructors, and staff are often the first to recognize when a student is exhibiting concerning behaviors and could benefit from additional support or assistance. Learn to identify signs of distress, and use the following to guide your next steps after recognizing signs:

  • Try to reach out directly by email or phone before making an SOS referral.
  • Listen to the student and acknowledge the behaviors you have seen.
  • Explain campus resources available to them.
  • If the student is not receptive or you feel the student may benefit from additional support, submit an SOS referral documenting what you have done and noticed.

Additional Questions to Consider

The following questions and their respective answers should be viewed as guidelines when deciding to submit a SOS referral. If you have additional questions, please also view the SOS Program FAQ page (linked). 

If you answer “YES” to any of these questions, we encourage you to submit a SOS referral.