Levels of Support and Intervention

Stress is universal and inescapable; it can be harmful or helpful; momentary or chronic; but no matter the cause or effect, learning to cope with stress is a common developmental task for all college students. Students can experience periodic distress as a reaction to collegiate or personal experiences of all kinds.

Reactions to stress can span various levels of severity. Examples of these levels are listed below with some tips on how to help students.

Level 3: Support, Understanding & Challenges

When a student illustrates signs of mild depression, anxiety, moodiness, lethargy or other indications of mild emotional distress:

Listen and offer support. Promote an open discussion to create an exchange of ideas and possible solutions. Assist in helping the student acquire accurate information and resources for additional help, for example, a referral to Student Success for tutoring or a Resident Assistant for more personal support. Challenge negative beliefs or misinformation and encourage continued dialogue with you and/or other helping resources around campus.

Level 2: Guidance and Assistance to Helping Resources

When a student illustrates or discloses signs of moderate and/or more long-term symptoms of depression, anxiety, moodiness, lethargy, poor concentration, absenteeism, alcohol or drug use, etc:

Listen and offer support, and refer the student to university resources around campus. Help make the appointment by calling Counseling Services at (216) 368-5872 with the student in your office. A walk-in service (no appointment needed) is also available in Counseling Services in 220 Sears Library Building on the Case Quad.

Level 1: Urgent Situations and Emergencies

When a student demonstrates or discloses signs of severe or dangerous behaviors. Some signs to watch for include profound depression, thoughts of suicide, self injury (cutting), frightening anger and/or threats of violence toward others; active anxiety attacks; cognitive confusion, incoherence, disorientation, or grandiose thoughts; or signs of excessive alcohol or drug use. Ask for assistance from an available colleague if possible as you call for immediate help.

If you need assistance with an urgent situation, please contact:

Counseling Services
220 Sears Library Building
Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.—Call (216) 368-5872
After Hours, Weekends and Holidays—Call (216) 368-5872 and follow the prompts to speak with the on-call counselor.


If you are concerned about the immediate safety of the student, you or anyone else, promptly call CWRU Police at (216) 368-3333

Back to Faculty Consultation