If distress is not attended to it is possible for a student to experience a mental health crisis. The B.E.A.R. Project defines a crisis in two primary ways:
- The student is at risk of harming themselves or others.
- The student’s behavior has changed markedly (for example, they appear to be responding to stimuli that you cannot see or hear) so that you are worried about their ability to take care of themselves.
An appropriate intervention for a crisis: If you are worried about their safety, the B.E.A.R. Project encourages you to ask the student directly about whether they are thinking about hurting themselves or others.
You are not alone in supporting a student who is experiencing a crisis. The primary resource for supporting a student in crisis is Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). If you are in a situation where you feel like you cannot leave a student alone, for fear they will hurt themselves, it is important to access EMS for immediate support. Student Support Services is also available as a resource during business hours and the Administrator on Call after hours.