Faculty and Staff: Assisting Students
As a Grinnell College faculty or staff member, you may know some – or many! – students quite well. At times students may confide in you. You may also notice when a student changes abruptly or inexplicably or starts to exhibit symptoms of physical or mental illness.
If it is within your comfort zone, it can be helpful to the student, and enriching for you, for you to do some empathic listening. However, it is not your job to be a student’s therapist or physician or to try to gauge how ill a student may be.
If you are concerned about a student’s health or mental health, encourage him/her/hir to call Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) for a phone consultation. (You can also encourage the student to look at this web site for information about who we are and what we do.) If the student would like you to do so, you are welcome to participate in the phone consultation with the student and the nurse or counselor. The phone consultation may lead to an appointment to see a counselor or nurse at SHACS. If the student decides to make an appointment here, and if he/she/zi would like you to do so, you are welcome to accompany the student to the appointment.
Without a student’s permission, we will not acknowledge if he/she/zi is or is not our client or discuss a student’s care here. (See Confidentiality) However, if you are concerned about a student and want to discuss how to help, we are always happy to consult about how to do so.
If you are afraid that a student is at risk of suicide or homicide, contact:
Student Health and Counseling Services
x3230 (641/269-3230 off campus)
The RLC on call or Campus Safety and Security
x4600 (641/269-4600 off campus)
(evenings, weekends, and holidays)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline