For Faculty & Staff
What is distressed or disruptive behavior?
"When students are experiencing crises in their lives, Student Emergency Services helps make a huge campus feel small."
- Chris Brownson, Director UT Counseling and Mental Health Center
How can I help a student in distress?
The first step is to gauge the student's level of distress by asking yourself:
- Is this student's behavior distressing and out of the ordinary?
- Is this beyond my skill level?
- Has this behavior been increasing over time?
- Does the student appear to be at risk?
- Does the student's behavior place others at risk?
- Am I feeling as if I could use help or guidance in this situation?
Answering "yes" to any of these questions may indicate that a student is distressed and needs help.
How do I respond to the behavior of a disruptive student?
Some important guidelines for responding to distressed or disturbed students:
- Set expectations for student conduct from the beginning of the class/meeting
- Address violations of these expectations as soon as they occur
- Consult with the Office of the Dean of Students or other campus resources when a student's behavior is of concern to you
- Document all occurrences of disruptive behavior. Even if the issue is temporarily resolved, this can be useful in future cases
- Trust your instincts if you feel a student might be a danger to themselves or others
Additional tools for addressing disruptive behavior
If you are unable to open the PDF above download Adobe Acrobat Reader
If you are unable to open the PowerPoint above download Microsoft PowerPoint viewer.