Don't ignore comments about suicide, violence, or harm to self or others. Call Campus Security immediately (509-313-2222), or ask someone around you to call while you stay with the student.
The biggest thing you can do to help a struggling student is to provide support. Consider looking over the tips below that include many ways we can all help and support members of our community. Helping often means getting others involved whose expertise and responsibility it is to work with students who may be struggling. Professional staff in Student Life are trained to deal with many of the challenges students face. Please consider making a referral by using the Student of Concern form or calling the Student Life Office at 509-313-4100 with your concerns.
Every member of the Gonzaga community can do something to show students that they care. Below are a few things to keep in mind when someone comes to you:
- Take a break from what you are doing to focus solely on the student and simply listen to what is being shared.
- If necessary, find a place to talk in private to minimize embarrassment.
- Express interest, care and concern. Make sure the student knows you are interested in what (s)he is sharing. Remember that although what the student is sharing may not seem like a crisis to you, it still feels like one to the student.
- Make sure that students know that you cannot keep information confidential. If students share that they are thinking about harming themselves or others, you need to get others involved. Reports of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination must be reported. Talk with your students about your limitations, and be open to helping them get connected to others who are specially trained.
- Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
- Ask open ended questions to help clarify.
- Help explore what options the student may be open to for getting assistance.
- Don't expect to have all of the answers right away.
- Make sure students are aware of your limits to help. There are others who are trained to deal with what the student is sharing. Know the limits of your own skills and training. Communicate your limits and offer to help students get connected to those who can help.
- Don't ignore comments about suicide, violence, or harm to self or others. Call Campus Security immediately (509-313-2222), or ask someone around you to call while you stay with the student.
- Help students get connected to the appropriate resources. Consider walking the student to the Student Life Office (College Hall 120) where one of the professional staff can quickly assist.
- Take the time to write down your notes from the conversation and pass those notes on using the Student of Concern form or by calling the Student Life Office at 509-313-4100.
- Once these notes are passed on to the Student Life Office, a plan for reaching out to the student will be created.
502 E. Boone Ave.
Spokane, WA 99258-0076
Student Life has staff on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist in any urgent crisis situation.
In an urgent situation that needs immediate attention, please call Gonzaga Dispatch at 509-313-2222 for assistance.