How to Support a Student

Though they may be reluctant to admit it, most college students care what their family thinks.

So, if you have concerns, a non-judgmental expression of support may be the most important step in helping them get back on track. Keep this expression simple and straightforward, because you want to leave room to listen and for them to respond in thier own time and way.

To start, tell them specifically what you have observed, like, "you seem quiet" or "you didn't laugh as much as usual last weekend" or "we noticed you were staring into space a lot." This will help them see that you noticed a change in their behavior and are interested in their life.

Even more important, tell them you understand that college and life can be tough and that you are available to listen. Remind them that you want what is best for them and will support them even if they stumble or are having a hard time.

But, always make room in the conversation to listen because sometimes it takes a moment, day, or week for the student to process what was said and let you in.

If they don't talk right away, it's ok to keep checking in. Often, people just need to know someone cares.

If you are concerned about your student and want to talk with someone, feel free to call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 541-737-2131 to speak with one of our counselors.




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