Worried about someone at NLC? Not sure what to do?
Download our Students in Distress Guide below!
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to Download Distress Guide
Press Blue Ball below
to Download Distress Guide
Student's Guide to Helping
Someone in Distress
(Please print double sided in colour on letter 8.5”x11’ paper if possible)
Students in Distress Guide
for Staff and Faculty
(Please print double-sided in colour on tabloid 11”x17” paper if possible)
In Crisis and Need Help Now?
If it is an emergency or there is an immediate risk of harm for yourself or someone else:
Call 9-1-1 immediately, then notify the Duty Manager 250-784-7610
Download the staff or student guide above, or follow the instructions below to assist you in supporting the student in distress.
You don’t have to be a mental health expert to make a difference. Everyone can play a role in ensuring student well-being.
Here are some basic steps to helping someone in Distress
1. Identify: Is someone in distress?
Pay attention to the warning signs. You may be the first person to notice a student in distress.
POSSIBLE SIGNS OF DISTRESS:
- Notable changes in behaviour
- Withdrawn or isolated from friends, family
- Seems to rely on drugs or alcohol
- Doesn’t take care of themselves anymore
- Doesn’t seem to enjoy activities they used to enjoy
- Reckless behaviour
- Unusual behaviour (unexplained crying or laughter, confusion, seems paranoid)
- Takes out frustrations on others (bullying, harassment, outbursts, sexual assault, etc.)
- Has been a victim of bullying, abuse, sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination
- Self-harming, such as hitting or cutting
- Low energy or falling asleep at inappropriate times
- Struggles with sleeping
- Drastic changes in eating habits
- Has mentioned feeling ‘hopeless’ or considering suicide
If you have noticed some of these signs, and feel safe in doing so, you may want to talk to the student.
APPROACH the student:
Be specific about the behaviour observed, and don’t be afraid to express concern.
“I’ve noticed that you’ve been falling asleep in class lately and I’m concerned about you.”
LISTEN to the student:
Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Be a patient listener.
“Is there anything I can do to help you?”
SUPPORT the student:
Don’t say ‘You’ll get over it’ or ‘Everything will be okay’ but instead acknowledge and validate the other person’s feelings.
Let them know that you want to help, and you are here to listen.
“It sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed.”
2. Reflect: What is the level of concern?
Would you define the behaviour you’ve witnessed as CONCERNING, URGENT, or an EMERGENCY?
EMERGENCY? IMMEDIATE RISK OF HARM TO SELF OR OTHERS........Contact Info with Red Title Below
Behaviour that is violent, destructive, harmful, aggressive, or threatening to self or others (ie. immediate risk of suicide)
URGENT: RISK OF HARM IS PRESENT BUT NOT IMMEDIATE........Contact Info with Orange Title Below
Hopelessness, experiences of violence or abuse, thoughts of suicide, or other urgent mental health issues.
CONCERNING: DISTRESSED BUT RISK OF HARM IS LOW........Contact Info with Purple Title Below
Homesickness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, grief, anger, relationship problems, academic concerns, substance use, etc.
3. Respond: Connect to appropriate resources
EMERGENCY: CALL 911 FIRST, THEN CALL THE DUTY MANAGER
Duty Manager (24hrs)
(if no answer, leave a message)
Campus Security (4:00pm – 3:00am)
Dawson Creek: 1-866-463-6652 ext. 1299
Fort St. John: 250-787-6237
URGENT: CALL THE LEARNING SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Fort Nelson, Tumbler Ridge
Fort St. John and Online students
Northern BC Crisis Line
BC Suicide Line
BC First Nation Crisis Line
Online Crisis Chat
CONCERNING: CONNECT TO SUPPORTS
Do not trick or force a student into connecting to supports. If they refuse help, respect their choice and remind them that you are always available to talk.
Aboriginal Student Advisors
International Student Advisors
Off Campus Resources
Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
Helping another person can be stressful and intense.
If you are a staff or faculty member, please contact Homewood Health if you need personal support.
If you are a student, and you need assistance, support, or someone to just listen, please contact the Learning Support Specialist
Dawson Creek/Chetwynd/Fort Nelson/Tumbler Ridge: 250-784-7552
Fort Saint John/Online students: 250-787-6244