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Talking With A Student

If the student is exhibiting bizarre or disturbing behavior or is intimidating you or others, contact Public Safety 650-738-4199 immediately.

If the situation is less severe, you think the student might be open to discussing their concerns with you, and you are comfortable and willing to do this:

  • Let the student know that you've noticed that he or she has been having difficulty lately.
  • Give specific examples, such as "You've been crying," or "You're no longer participating in class."
  • Ask if the student would like to talk with you about it.

Respond to those students who disclose their personal concerns to you by:

  • Listening. Empathize with the student's feelings. Be as genuinely supportive and nonjudgmental as feels appropriate to you.
  • Keeping your own limits in mind. Don't get more involved in the student's life than is comfortable or appropriate for you (e.g., length of the conversations, when and where they take place, how much is expected of you).
  • Making sure you and the student are safe. Be sure someone knows when and where you are meeting with a student and when you will be finished. Have a phone handy for emergencies. Do not position the student between yourself and the door. Never meet in an isolated place.
  • Refer/Walk Over to the Psychological Services. For students who seem to need more than you are able or willing to provide, or if professional counseling seems indicated, suggest that the psychologist might be helpful and that these professionals are available to provide confidential help to students dealing with problems or concerns like theirs. It is very helpful to walk the student to Building 2, Room 2211. Tell the student that s/he may also set up an appointment by calling 650-738-4459.

On-line Resources:

There are great on-line resources which provide very useful tools for working with students in distress. They are supported by the California Community College's Student Mental Health Program.

Students At-Risk: Tools for Faculty & Staff

  • At Risk Students
  • Veterans on Campus
  • LGBTQ on Campus

Students At-Risk: Tools for Student Leaders

  • At Risk Students
  • Veterans on Campus: Peer Program
  • LGBTQ on Campus

Process for Accessing On-line Materials

Click on the link above for the Kognito Student Mental Health programs. Then, complete the steps:

Step 1. Create an account
Step 2. Select School, Role and Department (Note: not all departments are listed)
Step 3. Complete demographic information
Step 4. Identify program