How to Help a Student

Faculty and Staff

While most students cope successfully with demands of college life, for some, the pressures can become overwhelming and unmanageable. There is powerful rationale for faculty/staff to intervene when they encounter distressed students: the inability to cope effectively with emotional stress poses a serious threat to students’ learning ability. As a faculty/staff member, your expression of interest and concern may be a critical factor in helping a struggling student reestablish the emotional equilibrium necessary for a fulfilling university experience.


There will likely come a time when you notice a friend struggling to cope and do not know how to help. Providing another student with the available campus resources may be the best way to assist him or her.These guidelines may help you assess what can sometimes be a difficult situation and give you some specific ideas about what you can do when confronted with students who are distressed. Check out this brief video, created by Butler students, that illustrates how friends might intervene and refer a friend in need. How to help a friend in need  (pdf)