This page is for the outside observer, to help you identify concerning behaviors and respond in your normal life. While we still encourage you to submit a concern to the Care Team, we also recognize that that option is not always immediately available. If you feel a student requires immediate assistance or may not follow through on counseling on their own, you can walk them over to Counseling and Testing in Grace Wilkie 320.

If dangerous or suicidal behavior appears imminent or has already occurred, contact University Police at (316) 978-3450 or dial 911.

Do you have something else to report? Check out WSU's Report It page, your hub for reporting concerns. These can include issues such as academic dishonesty, discrimination and conduct incidents.

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Tips for Recognizing Persons in Distress

What You Can Do to Help

Responding to Suicidal Concerns

Student Death Notification Protocol


Tips for Recognizing Persons in Distress

At one time or another everyone feels upset or distressed. However, there are three levels of concern which, when present over a period of time, suggest that the problems are greater than the "normal" ones. It is important to consider each type of behavior in context for the individual in question. Some examples for each level of concern follow:

Troubling: Causes us to feel alarmed, upset, or worried for a person's well being.
  • Changes in academic performance in the classroom
  • Disjointed speech or writings
  • Persistent sadness or unexplained crying
  • Change in patterns of social interaction
  • Changes in physical appearance or personal hygiene
  • Problems concentrating and remembering things or making decisions
Disruptive: Interferes with or disrupts the educational process of other students or the normal functions of the University.
  • Vague threats to self or others
  • Demanding, verbally abusive, or intimidating behavior
  • High levels of irritability or inappropriate excitement
  • Loss of contact with reality (seeing hearing things that are not there, beliefs or actions at odds with reality)
Threatening: Typically leaves us feeling frightened and in fear for our safety or the safety of others.
  • Physical confrontations or attacks
  • Direct threats of harming self or others
  • Displays a weapon
  • Sends threatening correspondence

If you are not sure about someone's wellbeing, submit a report; it's best to err on the side of caution. A Care Report will not get someone "in trouble."

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What Can You Do To Help

Responses to Troubling Behavior
  • Initiate a private, nonconfrontive conversation with the person about your concerns
  • Identify options available to the individual and make referrals to campus resources for help
  • Assist the individual with accessing the departments to which you have referred
  • Make sure the person understands what action is necessary and make plans to follow up with them
Responses to Disruptive Behavior
  • Verbally ask that the disruptive behavior stop
  • If behavior does not stop, ask the person to leave the area, or leave yourself if necessary
  • Inform person of the expected behavior changes, timeline for changes, and the consequences should behavior not change by that time
  • If possible, discuss the reasons for the disruptive behavior and refer to a department with expertise in that area
  • Document the interactions
Responses to Threatening Behavior
  • Immediately contact University Police at 911 or (316) 978-3450
  • If it involves a student, also inform the Campus Life and University Relations Office
  • If it involves a staff member of the University, also inform the department chair/director or Human Resources
  • Consult with the Counseling & Testing Center to debrief and assist you once the initial crisis is resolved

Don't forget, the Care Team is a resource at your disposal. If you're worried about someone's behavior, submit a concern to Care.

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Responding to Suicide Concerns

When a person makes any reference to suicide, threat of suicide, or an attempt at suicide, a judgment should be made by a mental health professional about the seriousness of a possible suicidal thought or behavior. References to or threats of self harm should be taken seriously. Mental health evaluations and treatment are available at the Counseling & Testing Center at (316) 978-3440.

Suicide attempts are first and foremost a medical emergency. If dangerous or suicidal behavior appears imminent or has already occurred, contact University Police at (316) 978-3450 or dial 911.

To Save a Life, Remember QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer)

Question the person about suicide
Persuade the person to get help
Refer for help

For more information, you can pursue QPR and Mental Health First Aid trainings. To learn more about suicide prevention, including warning signs, check out WSUWeSupportU.

If you know someone who's thinking about suicide or has recently attempted suicide, don't wait. Let us know by submitting a concern.

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Student Death Notification Protocol

In the event of the death of a currently enrolled student, it is the responsibility of the campus to respond in a sensitive, sympathetic manner, and most importantly with a measure of dignity toward the student and their family and friends.

The death of a student can impact the entire campus community. The purpose of this document is to establish the responsibilities for notifications in an orderly, effective, and caring manner.

If someone receives information of a student’s death, they should immediately notify the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at 316-978-6105 or Alicia.Newell@wichita.edu. Once notified, the AVP for student affairs will immediately begin the Campus Response and Notification Procedure.

For the Student Death Notification Protocol, click here (pdf).

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