At times we experience crises in life when we need to reach out for help. We would encourage you to take steps by contacting university officials if you are in a mental health crisis or someone you know who is in danger.
Most students encounter academic, personal, and social stress at some point during their educational experience. Generally, students are able to cope successfully with the demands of medical school, but for some these difficulties can become overwhelming and unmanageable. Friends are often the first point of contact in obtaining advice and support. Your expression of interest and concern could be critical in helping your friend reestablish emotional equilibrium.
How can you tell if someone is emotionally distressed?
At one time or another, everyone feels upset. However, when some of the following are present, significant emotional distress is possibly present:
– Noticeable decline in quality of school performance
– Noticeable signs of depression (e.g., persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, apathy, fatigue, tearfulness, changes in sleep and eating habits, distractibility, sudden weight loss or gain)
– Nervousness, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, non-stop talking
– Bizarre behavior or speech
– Extreme or sudden dependency on family or friends
– Marked change in personal hygiene
– Talk of suicide, either directly or indirectly
– Comments in letters or emails that arouse concern
Any of these above signs present in someone does not absolutely indicate serious distress. However, several signs and changes, which are extreme and sudden likely, point to potential mental health concerns. If there is doubt about the seriousness of the problem, consult a Counseling Service staff member about evaluating the situation and taking the most appropriate steps.”
Examples of urgent needs may include
- A student is having suicidal thoughts and is worried they are unable to keep themselves physically safe.
- A student has recently experienced a physical or sexual assault.
- A student states they are hearing voices or seeing things.
- A student recently experienced or witnessed a threat to life or safety.
- A student has recently experienced the death of a loved one.