How Can I Help page


Being part of the Brown community means you are not alone. When you engage with a student who is upset and are able to understand their experience more, you may realize that a student could benefit from being connected to campus resources.


If you notice a student who is upset, by interacting with the student, you are well on your way to being seen as support.

While engaging with a student, we encourage you to ask open-ended questions about your concern:

  • "How are you doing?"
  • "Can you tell me more about that?"

It can be useful to promote the student’s sense of agency by asking how you can be helpful:


You can’t tell how a person is doing or how to help just by looking at them.

If you feel worried about a student, we encourage you to attempt to engage with them in order to gain an understanding of what they are going through. Focusing your attention on a student who is upset will likely give you clues of how you can best provide support, and the student is likely to feel more hopeful just because someone is making the space to pay attention to their experience.

Helpful “engage” hints:

Be Present

Brown is a vibrant community where each person tends to hold multiple roles and responsibilities. It is easy to go through your day moving from task to task, without paying attention to the people around you. We encourage you to build time into your day to connect with each other (for example, students meeting for a meal, staff getting to know students, faculty leaving time in their schedule after a class in case a student wants to check in).