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Working with Distressed Students – Know the Signs


On Monday, November 19, 2001 the second Professional Development Series featuring Michael Ewing, Director of Counseling and  Health Education presented Working with Distressed Students – Know the Signs in Quad 264 at St. John’s from 8:30-10:00 a.m.

There were 80 individuals in attendance where a delicious breakfast was served from 8:00-8:30 a.m. consisting of bacon, scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, fresh fruit, doughnuts, orange juice, water and coffee.

Mike gave a brief overview of the session and provided useful handouts for participants to take back to their offices/departments.  Information included “Recognizing Distressed Students”, “Potentially Stressful Periods for Students”, “Coping with Crisis:  Stress Reactions”, and “The SIGNS of Distress”. 

The participants shared in thoughtful discussion with Mike.  Mike also shared the on-campus resources that are available for students and their supervisors.  Mike told the audience that if anyone has any concern they simply do not have an answer they are welcomed to phone his office and ask for assistance.  Additionally, if supervisors felt the situation was in immediate need for help, when calling his department it should be stated that immediate assistance is requested and typically someone in the office will be available.  Another shared piece of information is that often students feel uncomfortable making the call on their own and supervisors should ask their student employees if they may make the call and accompany them to the Counseling Office. 

At the end of the session various questions and answers were addressed.  One topic of concern is the confidentiality of information that FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) can address.  Lynda Fish from Academic Advising provided SELT with a contact from the University of St. Thomas for further information. All are encouraged to review this website.

Respectfully submitted by Deb Guertin
Member of the November Professional Development Committee
(Jennifer Anderson, Terri Johnson and Deb Guertin)