Faculty, staff, family, and friends are in a position to observe aspects of student lives that are not visible to others and may be the first to notice when challenges arise.
If you are worried about a student and noticing changes including:
- Decline in self-care
- Failure to fulfill obligations
- Behaviors that are negatively affecting other students or the community
- Changes in substance use
- Risk-taking behavior
- Indications of thoughts of harm to self and/or others
there are resources to support you and the student.
What You Can Do
If you think a student is in distress, reach out to them. This is often the first and best step toward helping an individual seek support and feel better. It sends a clear message to the person of concern that people care about their health and safety. Try to be empathetic and understanding and consider the following guidelines:
- Hold conversations in a private space.
- Share the specific signs or behaviors that you have observed and why they are causing worries for you.
- Listen attentively and give them time to speak.
- Ask them what support or help they desire and what they think they need in order to feel better.
- Provide resources or referrals.
- Be clear about any next steps you need to take given your role in their life or in the Middlebury community (e.g. I need to share this with my supervisor, or we need to call the Department of Public Safety to access on-call staff for support in figuring out next steps).
- Follow-up later and check-in to see how the person is doing.
If a student is in distress do not hesitate to consult with peers, colleagues, and our staff at the Center for Health and Wellness before or after following the steps above. Specifically, our staff in Integrated Care help support students facing health-related challenges to strengthen their support networks and access to resources.
To request consultation or to share a concern and request outreach to the student on your behalf call 802-443-5141 during business hours. Depending on your needs and the situation, you may be directed to staff in Counseling or Integrated Care.
TimelyCare for College Employees
In addition to telehealth services for enrolled students, TimelyCare offers a 24-hour consultation service available to all Middlebury faculty and staff. If you have concerns about a student’s behavior—encompassing anything from general well-being, to how to approach a student who may be challenging in class, to fears that a student may be in danger of harming themself or others—TimelyCare offers a prompt and confidential way to get expert guidance from trained mental health professionals. To access consultation, employees should call the TimelyCare customer assistance line at 833-484-6359 and identify themselves as a faculty or staff member at Middlebury College.
Need Help Now?
TalkNow through TimelyCare provides 24/7 access to mental health support. Students can speak with a counselor at any time from anywhere simply by opening TimelyCare, selecting TalkNow, and requesting an appointment
In case of an emergency call 911 or the following emergency resources:
- Middlebury College Public Safety Emergency Line: 802-443-5911
- Porter Hospital Emergency Room: 115 Porter Drive, Middlebury VT