As the people who interact with students the most, you, as faculty and staff, are often in a strong position to notice when something is wrong in a student's life, and to offer support and guidance.

Below are general indicators that a student may be having difficulty coping with a trauma such as sexual assault.

Academic Indicators 

 • Deterioration in quality of work
• A drop in grades
• A negative change in classroom performance
• Missed assignments
• Repeated absences from class
• Disorganized or erratic performance
• Continual seeking of special accommodations (extensions, postponed examination)
• Essays or creative work portraying extremes of hopelessness, social isolation, rage, or despair

Interpersonal Indicators

• Direct statements indicating distress or other difficulties
• Unprovoked anger or hostility
• Exaggerated personality traits (more withdrawn or more animated than usual)
• Excessive dependency
• Expression of hopelessness or worthlessness
• Peers expressing concern about a fellow student
• If you have a hunch or gut-level reaction that something is wrong

Physical Indicators

• Deterioration in physical appearance
• Excessive fatigue
• Visible changes in weight
• Indications of substance abuse or chemical dependency

Safety Risk Indicators

• Any written note or verbal statement which has a sense of finality or suicidal ideation
• Essays or papers that focus on hopelessness, helplessness, despair, suicide, or death
• Severe depression
• Self-destructive or self-injurious behaviors
• Any other behavior which seems out of control or extreme

What You Can Do

  • You may call Counseling Services for a consultation about the student. The staff will be glad to talk with you about any worries or concerns you may have.
  • You can discuss your concerns with the student and listen to the response. Talking about a problem or labeling a crisis does not make it worse. It is the first step toward resolving it.
  • You may also call the Office of the Dean of Academic Advising & Support to make someone aware of your concern.
  • You may call the Office of Civil Rights. If you have information that would lead you to reasonably believe that a sexual assault has occurred, you must contact Interim Civil Rights/Title IX Coordinator Kevin Peterson at 740-427-5245 or peterson2@kenyon.edu.

Credit: www.kent.edu