It is helpful to have detailed and accurate information when referring so that our office can best meet the needs of the student.

Before You Refer:
  • Address the behavior immediately
  • Use a calm, non-confrontational, and caring approach
  • Communicate your concern for their wellness and academic success
  • Provide the space and allow the student to share what is concerning them
  • If it is disruptive behavior, reiterate any expectations
  • Acknowledge the student's emotions when repeating their perception of the problem
  • Refer students to campus resources


This list is not all inclusive or comprehensive. It should be used as a guide. If you are unsure of what to report and you are concerned, please contact someone.

  • Decline in quality of work or grades
  • Repeated absences
  • Disorganized thinking in writing or presentations
  • Repeated requests for extensions
  • Overly demanding of faculty/staff time and attention
  • Conduct that interferes with classroom engagement
  • Bizarre content in writings or presentations
  • Meetings with the student are dominated by personal content rather than educational matters
  • Marked changes in physical appearance (i.e. grooming, hygiene, and weight loss/gain)
  • Excessive fatigue, listlessness
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Intoxication, hang over, smelling of alcohol
  • Disoriented, “out of it”, or forgetful
  • Garbled, rambling, tangential, disconnected, or slurred speech
  • Behavior out of context
  • Strange ideas/beliefs or paranoia
  • Isolation or withdrawal
  • Excessive self-disclosure of personal distress, losses, family problems, or financial difficulties
  • Withdrawal or agitation
  • Unusual/disproportional emotional response to events
  • Excessive tearfulness, panic reactions, inability, or apathy
  • Antagonistic and impulsive behavior
  • Verbally abusive (e.g. taunting, badgering, intimidation)
  • Expressions of concern about the student by his/her peers
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Major shifts in mood
  • Recent major stressor such as loss of loved one, relationship break-up, etc.
  • Suicidal
  • Para-suicidal (extreme harm to self)
  • Substance abuse or other risk taking behaviors
  • Hostile, aggressive, relationally abusive
  • Deficient in skills that regulate emotion, cognition, self, behavior, and relationships
  • Covert and overt actions of threatening harm, violence, or death to others or themselves
  • Anger or hostility
Unsure? Contact:
  • University Staff
  • Dean of Students (540-568-6468)
  • Counseling Center (540-568-6552)
    • Treatment recommendations and/or referral information during walk in hours from 10am-3pm Monday-Friday.
  • JMU Police (540-568-6912—non-emergency)

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