December 01, 2021

How to support students’ emotional health

Working with others may present you with opportunities to be a resource for emotional wellness. Given the increased stress many students are experiencing toward the end of the semester, you may find yourself encountering students with mental health and emotional needs that warrant your attention. Here are some tips from the counselors at Counseling and Psychological Services for how you can be proactively engaged with students you work with and responsive to their needs:

  • Maintain an approachable demeanor and show an interest in students and colleagues.
  • Talk frequently about well-being in meetings and classes, model the importance of self-care, and do your part to reduce stigma about seeking support for mental health.
  • Set aside opportunities to talk without distractions and really listen to what people are telling you.
  • Speak in a calm and reassuring manner, being sure to validate one’s feelings.
  • If you are concerned, question openly and directly: “Share with me how you have been doing.” Or “I’ve noticed you’ve stopped handing in work. Is something going on?”
  • Ask them what they think may help and if you can assist in some way.
  • Review available resources, assisting them with accessing those resources if needed.
  • Follow up to check in on how individuals are doing.

If you are concerned about a student, let the person know that you care and would like to help. Encourage counseling or submit a Saluki Cares report at You may want to help them call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 618-453-5371 or walk them to a CAPS location for a counseling session. Follow up with them to check on how they are doing and if their needs are being met. Help is available seven days a week during the day and evening.

Not sure how to help? You can always call a counselor at CAPS and provide information about a student. We provide confidential counseling services for students and can assist in a variety of ways.