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:

  • Listen more than talk.
  • Use nonverbal cues (for example, nod your head, point your body towards the person) and verbal cues (such as “It sounds like…”)  to show you are interested in their experience.
  • Avoid giving quick solutions.

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