It's early in the semester of your English literature course and one of your students has already missed four classes. The student seems fatigued and out of sorts, and writing assignments are dominated by themes of hopelessness and despair.
The student may just be anxious about the start of classes or could be showing symptoms of more serious mental distress. But what to do?
Increasingly, faculty are being urged to intervene at the earliest signs a student may be in trouble. Professors are being told to refer students to counseling services or in extreme cases — in which imminent harm is suspected to themselves or others — to contact campus police.