If you are concerned about a JMU student in distress, you can consult with a CC clinician. The clinician will help you develop a plan to respond to the situation and connect you with the appropriate resources. Read the information below before your consultation. Review the inforgraphic to see if there are other offices you should contact first.
A consultation is an opportunity to talk with a CC clinician about your concerns regarding a JMU student in distress. Common concerns involve unusual, problematic, or potentially harmful behaviors that could impact the JMU community. Friends, family, roommates, and professors are often the first to notice problems and hear about concerns. You are probably in a great position to provide helpful information.
During the consultation, you will speak with a clinician about your concerns. We will ask you a variety of questions to make sure we understand the situation. We will assist you in developing a plan to effectively deal with the situation. If the situation requires additional assistance from a campus or community professional, we will support you through that process too.
Possible Consultation Recommendations:
- Schedule an Initial Assessment at the Counseling Center
- Access Emergency Services
- Contact the Dean of Students
- Initiate a welfare check through the JMU Office of Public Safety
- Complete a psychiatric assessment at Sentara RMH
- Offer support to the student and create healthy boundaries
Please refer to our Consultation form to learn how the information you provide will be used. Review the "Who Should I Call" infographic to learn where to start.
- Changes in personality - noticeably sad, angry, irritable, anxious, or apathetic lasting for several days.
- They start skipping classes, failing assignments, or not completing their work.
- Recent significant loss - relationship, friendship, death of an important person, a traumatic event.
- Withdrawal from others - friends, family, classes, and abandoning previously enjoyed activities.
- Express helplessness and hopelessness - they struggle seeing things getting better. When students lose hope, they are much less motivated to put forth an effort to change and they may have thoughts of suicide.
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns. Sustained periods of significant changes in eating habits or insomnia can have serious consequences.
- Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, especially when it leads to antagonistic, impulsive, reckless and/or violent behavior.
- Appearing disoriented or "out of it" (e.g., less aware of what is going on around them, more forgetful, rambling or disconnected speech, and/or behavior that seems out of context or bizarre).
- Talking about completing suicide (ranging from vague statements like "Everyone would be better off without me" and "It won't matter soon" to direct and clear statements like "I'm going to kill myself"). Most people who contemplate suicide give some warning of their intentions to someone close to them.
- Talking about harming others (e.g., verbal threats, threatening emails, harassing or stalking behaviors, papers/exams that contain violent material). All such statements and actions must be taken seriously.
There are several helpful things to keep in mind as you try to assist a student in distress.
- Tips for referring a student to counseling
- Coping with disruptive students in the classroom
- Responding to dangerous students
- Disturbing content in academic work