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Student Support Resources Guide

A student’s life can be stressful. As a student, faculty, or staff member, you may recognize a fellow Commodore in distress who may benefit from wellness support and professional resources. Click here for additional faculty and staff training.

We recommend the following process to help a student in distress:

Identify

Early detection and intervention is important. Identify a student who may be in distress by noticing changes in performance, behavior, or demeanor. A combination of several changes is most likely to indicate that a student is in distress.

  • Academic performance changes
  • Physical changes
  • Behavior changes
  • Triggering events

Approach

Once you have identified a student who may be in distress, approach the student to offer support. There is no one right way to initiate this conversation; however, the below steps are known best practices.

  • Respect their privacy
  • Express care
  • Offer support and listen
  • Take care of yourself

Refer

Vanderbilt’s Office of Student Care Coordination is a central point of intake for students to be referred to the best resources to meet their specific needs.

  • Encourage the student to contact the Office of Student Care Coordination and complete an online assessment.
  • Direct the student to the Student Care Network website.
  • Keep communication open and follow up.


Levels of Distress and How to Respond

If at any time you are unsure how to respond to or support a student in distress, please contact the Office of Student Care Coordination at (615) 343-WELL (9355) or speak with your supervisor. 

CRITICAL

Serious risk of suicide or suicide attempt

Specific threat of harm or violence towards self or others, verbally or through social media 

Severe mental health symptoms that pose a danger to the student or others 

HELPFUL RESOURCES/ACTION STEPS: 

  • For emergencies, call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) at (615) 421-1911 or 911 
  • For immediate medical assistance, visit the nearest emergency room (for campus: VUMC ER at 1211 Medical Center Drive) 
  • To confirm actions taken, submit a  Student of Concern Report

ELEVATED

Suicidal ideation or thoughts, thinking about or planning suicide 

Serious social, mental health, academic, or adjustment concerns where timely support and resources are needed to avoid escalation 

Distress associated with personal impacts of current events, racism, Title IX changes, natural disasters, political climate, etc. 

HELPFUL RESOURCES TO SHARE:

National crisis services:

  • Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741
  • Students of color can text STEVE to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to speak with a crisis counselor dedicated to support the mental health of students of color
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

MODERATE  

Increase in sadness, anxiety, isolation, or stress; difficulty adjusting to college or forming relationships

Situational stressors, including due to COVID-19, exams, poor grades, death of a close friend or family member

Academic concerns, including multiple missed classes, missed assignments, significant drop in grade, disruptive behavior

HELPFUL RESOURCES TO SHARE:

MILD  

Experiencing situational stressors, but generally coping appropriately

Difficulty adjusting to college, homesickness, roommate conflicts, finding community, making friends

Low or little engagement in classroom, missing a few classes or assignments

HELPFUL RESOURCES TO SHARE:


When, Who, and What?

EMERGENCY OR IMMEDIATE CRISIS?

If there is an emergency on campus:
Call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) at (615) 421-1911. The nonemergency VUPD number is (615) 322-2745.

If there is an emergency off campus:
Call 911.

If your or someone you know needs immediate medical assistance:
They should visit the nearest emergency room. The closest emergency room to campus is Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Room located at 1211 Medical Center Drive, Nashville, TN 37232.

If you or someone you know needs to speak with a University Counseling Center professional immediately:
Students may call the UCC directly at 615-322-2571 to speak with a clinician for Urgent Care Counseling 24 hours a day.

If you or someone you know would like to speak by phone or text with a trained crisis professional, there are nation-wide services available:
Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor, from anywhere in the United States, anytime, about any type of crisis

Students of color can also text STEVE to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to speak with a crisis counselor dedicated to supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of students of color.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

ACADEMIC ISSUES OR QUESTIONS?

Undergraduates:
Associate Dean Anita Wager: anita.wager@vanderbilt.edu

Professional Students:
Associate Dean Catherine Loss: catherine.g.loss@vanderbilt.edu

Graduate Students:
Associate Dean Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez:  jeannette.mancilla-martinez@vanderbilt.edu

Academic Services:
Assistant Dean Malina Halman: malina.c.halman@vanderbilt.edu

STUDENT IN NEED OF MENTAL HEALTH/WELLBEING/MEDICAL SUPPORT?

  1. Complete a Student of Concern form
  2. Contact the Office of Student Care Coordination (615-343-9355). They will talk with the student and direct them to one of the three following offices: The University Counseling Center | The Center for Student Well-Being | The Student Health Center

FINANCIAL AID ISSUES OR QUESTIONS?

Undergraduates:
Vanderbilt Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships:  finaid@vanderbilt.edu

Professional Students:
Vanderbilt Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships:  finaid@vanderbilt.edu
Peabody Scholarships:  peabody.financialaid@vanderbilt.edu

Graduate Students:
Director of Graduate Studies in student’s department

STUDENT OF CONCERN FORM

WHEN SHOULD I SUBMIT A STUDENT OF CONCERN FORM?
You should submit a Student of Concern Form if you identify a student who is exhibiting concerning behavior related to their personal, physical, or emotional wellbeing and:

  • You would like someone else to be aware of the issue;
  • You believe the student needs immediate follow-up;
  • You believe the student needs ongoing support;
  • You have updated information about a previous report you filed; or
  • You want advice on how to interact with or support the student.

If you are unsure whether you should submit a report, please contact the Office of Student Care Coordination at (615) 343-WELL (9355).

WHAT HAPPENS ONCE A FORM HAS BEEN SUBMITTED?
Once a Student of Concern Form is submitted, appropriate staff in the Office of Student Care Coordination will review and assess the information in order to determine the best course of action for follow-up. Follow-up is individually tailored and, where possible, relationship-driven, and it may include a staff member reaching out to the student directly and working with the student on a success plan or appropriate referrals. A staff member may contact the reporting party for additional information. A reporting party may not receive any specific follow-up information due to privacy laws and regulations.

Watch the Responding to Students in Distress training video.


Mandatory Reporting Actions

ACTIONS WHERE TO REPORT ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault Title IX
615-34(3-9004)
Title IX website
Discrimination (Racial and Other) Equal Opportunity and Access
615-34(3-9336)
EOA website
Child Abuse/Protection of Minors The Office of Risk and Insurance Management
615-322-5155
Reporting abuse FAQs
Abuse of Elderly Tennessee Department of Human Services’ Adult Protective Services
1-888-APS-TENN
About elder abuse