Signs a Student Is in Distress

Signs a Student Is in Distress

Look for noticeable changes in mood, behavior, and/or academic performance. Trust your gut—if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.


  • Missing classes, assignments, and/or exams
  • Quality of work declining
  • Repeated need for extensions and/or excused absences
  • Morbid or disturbing content in written exams or notes


  • Deterioration in personal hygiene
  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Strange or odd behavior
  • Excessive anxiety or panic
  • Frequent illness
  • Noticeable cuts or bruises


  • Anger or irritability
  • Lack of responsiveness to outreach
  • Excessive crying
  • Isolation and withdrawal
  • Direct statements indicating distress, including expressions of hopelessness
  • Reports from other students that a student is struggling