Distressed Students Warning Signs

All members of the Lewis University community have the potential to interact with distressed students.  In fact, faculty, staff and fellow students are often the first to notice a student in distress.  Therefore, as a member of the university community, it would be helpful to know the signs of a distressed student as well as how to get help for that student.

Distressed Student Warning signs:

  • Drop in class attendance or quality of work
  • Consistently has difficulty paying attention or keeping focus
  • Decline in personal hygiene and dress
  • Consistent depressed mood
  • Socially withdrawing behavior
  • Crying without apparent reason
  • Easily frustrated or irritated- quick to anger
  • Appears to be “on edge” all of the time- often anxious
  • Identifiable signs of intoxication during class or interactions
  • Bizarre behavior such as talking to self or repetitive actions/rituals
  • Use of suicidal language such as (“I’d be better off dead” or “I’m worthless”)
  • Suicidal gestures such as giving away valued items
  • Preoccupation with death or dying as apparent in writings or drawings
  • Lack of insight into consequences or precursors to behavior
  • Use of threatening and/or intimidating language when communicating
  • Exhibits behaviors or emotions that are inappropriate to the situation
  • Displays extreme suspiciousness or irrational fears of persecution
  • A gut feeling that something is just not right with the person

If a student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, or acts in a bizarre, highly irrational or disruptive way, it is important to call the Campus Police at (815)836-5911 immediately.