Identify a Student in Distress
According to the NCHA survey conducted in 2012, UND students reported the following factors affected their individual academic performance:
- Sleep difficulties
- Cold/flu/sore throat
- Concern for a troubled friend/family member
- Relationship difficulties
Although everyone feels "stressed" at times, excessive stress (i.e. distress) can manifest itself in a number of ways.
Symptoms and Warning Signs
While many students recognize the warning signs and seek help on their own, you may notice distress indicators. Although the following list is by no means all-inclusive, you should suspect that a person might be distressed if any of the following apply to him/her:
- Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
- Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
- Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
- Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
- Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
- Student is acting out of character or differently than usual.
- Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
- Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on normal conversation.
- Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
- Student reports feeling out of control of one's emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.
The following are examples of common causes for a student's distress.
- Family problems or other interpersonal difficulties (for example: conflicts, illness or death of someone important to the student, divorce, abuse).
- Problems with a romantic partner or spouse (for example: sexual problems, communication problems, abuse).
- Financial difficulties (for example: juggling work and school, providing for students, economic hardship in family/country of origin).
- Significant changes in circumstance (for example: adjusting to a new place, new people, and/or a new life situation).
- Academic or work difficulties (for example: trouble getting to work or class, poor grades or performance reviews, over-placement, interpersonal conflicts with authorities or peers).
- Over-commitment, performance anxiety.
- A loss or grief. A traumatic event.
- Alcohol or drug problems.