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CAPS Big Red Folder

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If you are new to CAPS and would like to speak with a counselor, please call 402-472-7450 and press 2 to schedule a same day appointment. The online scheduling portal is unavailable at this time.

Big Red Folder

How to Help Students

(An Overview for Faculty & Staff)

Student Referral Guide
Faculty member in front of auditorium of students

Keeping Students Safe

SEE, SAY, DO Something

If you SEE someone in emotional distress or acting in a manner that is inconsistent from your previous experience, trust your instincts to DO SOMETHING. You can SAY SOMETHING if a student leaves you feeling worried, alarmed or threatened.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits communication about a student of concern in connection with health and safety issues to an appropriate campus resource. You can help by notifying the Student Advocacy and Support (402.472.0878) so that an appropriate intervention can be made.

If you are advising or meeting a student remotely, view our tips to help you prepare for an unforeseen crisis.

  • Threatens the safety of self or others
  • Acts in a frightening or threatening manner
  • Refuses to leave the classroom after being asked to leave
  • Reporting or initiating a threat or bomb scare
University Police Department
Campus Phone: 2-2222
Cell Phone: 402.472.2222
  • Acts significantly out of character
  • Acts peculiar and this is cause for alarm
  • Displays unhealthy or dangerous patterns of behavior
University Police Department
  • Indicates loss of touch with reality
  • Reflects suicidal thoughts or actions, depression, hopelessness, anxiety or difficulty dealing with grief
Counseling and Psychological Services
follow prompts for after-hours assistance
  • Indicates having been a victim of a stalking, hazing or other crime
  • Reports sexual assault or relationship violence
Center for Advocacy, Response & Education (CARE)

Voices of Hope 24-Hour Crisis Line
  • Is not attending class for an extended period of time
  • Seems overwhelmed by a problem that could affect university attendance or persistence
  • Exhibits behavior that substantially impairs, interferes or obstructs orderly processes and functions of the university
  • Exhibits behavior that deliberately interferes with instruction or office procedures
  • Exhibits behavior that is lewd or indecent or breaches the peace
  • Reflects debilitated feeling or overwhelmed by a family or personal emergency
Student Advocacy and Support
Submit student referrals online

Referrals are reviewed by the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT).
  • Is having academic difficulty due to physical, psychological or learning disability
  • Indicates a need for disability accommodations
Services for Students with Disabilities
  • Is having academic difficulty due to medical concerns/illness
  • Struggling to attend classes or complete assignments due to medical issues
University Health Center Medical Clinic
  • Indicates experiencing hate crimes, bias, discrimination or harassment
Institutional Equity and Compliance

Best Practices for Working with Distressed Students

  • Speak with the individual privately
  • Let them know you are concerned and willing to help
  • Listen carefully and compassionately; then, explore options
  • Keep healthy boundaries and limits
  • Identify resources and make referrals

Possible Signs of Distress

  • Marked change in performance or behavior
  • Excessive absence or tardiness
  • Decreased motivation/concentration
  • Increased irritability or anxiety
  • Exaggerated emotional response that is inappropriate to the situation
  • Increased isolation or sadness
  • Hyperactivity or very rapid speech
  • Marked change in personal hygiene, including weight loss or gain
  • Excessive confusion
  • Bizarre or erratic behavior
  • References to suicide (e.g., feelings of helplessness or hopelessness)
  • References to homicide or assault

If a Student Tells You of a Sexual Assault

  • Stay calm and listen. Create an environment where the student can talk and share.
  • Offer your support. Let the student know that they are not to blame for what happened.
  • Let them know that you are available to support them.
  • Empower the student by telling them they have a right to be safe and free from violence.
  • Be honest and up front about reporting the abuse or getting support.
  • Help them find resources to talk with individuals who are trained on these topics:
    Counseling and Psychological Services — 402.472.7450
    Center for Advocacy, Response & Education (CARE) — 402.472.3553
  • Employees are expected to report the incident right away to Institutional Equity and Compliance (402.472.3417).

Working with Disruptive Individuals

What is disruptive behavior?
Behavior that interferes with the campus's learning environment is considered disruptive.
It is important to recognize that the period of peak anger usually lasts for a brief period of time.

What are some examples…?

  • Persistent and unreasonable demands for time and attention
  • Aggressive or defiant behavior
  • Words or actions that intimidate or harass
  • Words or actions that cause another to fear for their personal safety

How can I respond to a disruptive person?

  • Do not ignore disruptive behavior
  • Remember that anger usually passes quickly
  • Calmly let the student know that the behavior is inappropriate
  • Disruptive behavior should be documented


  • Use silence to allow the student to tell you what is upsetting them
  • Acknowledge the feelings of the individual
  • Be firm, steady, consistent, and honest
  • Focus on what you can do to help the student problem solve
  • Make personal referrals to appropriate resources
  • Communicate your concerns with Student Advocacy and Support (402.472.0878 or

In a crisis situation, or if you feel threatened or endangered, call 2-2222 or 911.

About Our Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a multidisciplinary team of psychologists and counselors who work collaboratively with students and psychiatric providers. We help students explore their feelings and thoughts and learn helpful ways to improve their mental, psychological and emotional well-being when issues arise. Services include:

  • Crisis services
  • Individual and couples counseling
  • Support and therapy groups
  • Screenings and assessments
  • Alcohol/drug screening and counseling
  • Eating disorders treatment
  • Workshops and presentations

Although we do not provide medication evaluation and referral services, we can collaborate with specialty providers for medication management.