Faculty/Staff Resources

Identifying Students in Distress
Recognizing students in distress may be one of the most important things you can do as a faculty member.  Recognizing signs of distress can be very helpful as you work with students.  Sometimes listening and giving brief advice can be helpful yet not always heeded.  The following are some indicators that students might be in distress:

  • Change in behavior: more talkative, less talkative, disengaging during classes or labs, drastic change in appearance, consistently late or missing class/labs, general irritability or lashing out, withdrawing from friends or others in the class, disruptive behavior, emotional outbursts, marked decrease in academic output, frequent illness.
  • Graduate Students in Distress  

Reasons to Refer
If you recognize that a student is exhibiting signs of distress or has admitted to you they are not coping or managing well, you should listen be kind, offer general advice and encourage the student to seek out professional assistance.  There are multiple resources available to all students and residents at ECU and in the Greenville area.  If you are unfamiliar with any of the resources, please feel free to consult with the Office of Counseling and Student Development or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs Office.  The ECU Cares link also has detailed description of low, medium and high-risk behaviors.

Having Difficult Conversations
Occasionally as a faculty member you may find yourself having difficult conversations with students and residents, perhaps regarding things that are very personal the student may share.  Although those moments may be awkward at best, the student evidently has felt somewhat comfortable sharing something personal and feels safe.  Your best route is to listen carefully and let them know you care however; offering them resources rather than specific or personal advice can be a better approach as they are attempting to manage and cope.

While confidentiality is a component of our doctor-patient relationship the responsibility shifts when we are working with students.  Students may assume or even ask for strict confidentiality when they are speaking with you and sharing something, that they feel needs to be kept confidential.  While most things a student may share can remain in your confidence, remember that not everything can be considered confidential.  Anything that might pertain to the student or another person’s general safety should be revealed and appropriate resources acquired. There are several other things that might not be in the best interest of the student to keep private.  Use confidentiality cautiously with students and residents as you are engaging with them in general.

Person of Concern/ECU Cares
Report Person of Concern (ECU Cares)