CAPS Big Red Folder

How to Help Students (Big Red Folder) An Overview for Faculty/Staff

Faculty member in front of auditorium of students

Our Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a multidisciplinary team of psychologists and counselors that 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 Counseling and Psychological Services does not provide medication evaluation and referral services, we can collaborate with specialty providers for medication management.

What is Your Role in Keeping Our Students Safe?

You are in a good position to spot someone who may be emotionally distressed. While some of this is expected, especially during stressful times of the year, you may notice someone acting in a way that is inconsistent with your normal experience with that person. You are an important resource in times of trouble, and your expression of interest and concern may be critical in helping the student. You also may be able to alert the university so that an appropriate intervention can be made.

WHEN IN DOUBT, CALL 911 OR CONSULT WITH COUNSELING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES (402.472.7450)
IF THE STUDENT TAKE ACTION
  • 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
402.472.2222
  • Indicates loss of touch with reality
  • Reflects suicidal thoughts or actions, depression, hopelessness, anxiety or difficulty dealing with grief
Counseling and Psychological Services
402.472.7450
follow prompts for after hours assistance
  • Indicates having been a victim of a stalking, hazing or other crime
  • Reports sexual assault or relationship violence
Victim Advocacy
402.472.3553
Voices of Hope 24-Hour Crisis Line
402.475.7273
  • 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
402.472.7030
Submit student referrals online
  • Is having academic difficulty due to physical, psychological or learning disability
  • Indicates a need for disability accommodations
Services for Students with Disabilities
402.472.3787
  • 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
402.472.5000
  • Indicates experiencing hate crimes, bias, discrimination or harassment
Institutional Equity and Compliance
402.472.3417

When Working with Distressed Students

DO: DON'T:
  • Speak with the individual privately
  • Let her/him know you are concerned and willing to help
  • Listen carefully, and only then explore options
  • Identify resources and make referrals
  • Promise confidentiality
  • Judge or criticize
  • Involve yourself beyond the limits of your time or training

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 she or he is not to blame for what happened.
  • Let them know that you believe and 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
    Victim Advocacy — 402.472.3553
  • Responsible Employees should 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 another
  • Words or actions that cause another to fear for her/his personal safety

How can I respond to a disruptive person?
  • SAFETY FIRST
  • 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
DO: DON'T:
  • 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 (402.472.7030)
  • Interrupt, particularly during the initial phase of heightened anger
  • Minimize, blame, ridicule, or use sarcasm
  • Be argumentative or adversarial
  • Touch
  • Ignore your own limitations
In a crisis situation, or if you feel threatened or endangered, call 2-2222 or 911.