Student Counseling Center

How Do I recognize a Student in Distress?

Serious academic fallout
falling grades, sudden class absences without explanation, loss of motivation or investment in school

Exaggerated emotional response
angry outbursts, sudden tearfulness or giddiness

Withdrawal from relationships
withdrawal from friends or sources of social support or a sudden over-dependence on people

Disruptive behavior
aggressiveness, violating others' rights with little provocation

Persistent depressioncrying, low energy, irritability, decline in personal appearance, helplessness/hopelessness, loss of control, emotional flatness

Marked increase in physical complaints
headaches, indigestion, nausea, stomach pains, loss or gain in weight

Increased reliance on alcohol or drugs

How Do I Talk with a Distressed Student?

Listen: Listening is an important part of support

Empathize: Understanding from another's perspective is often helpful

Normalize: Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out are common aspects of college life

Set limits on your role: Set comfortable limits for yourself when the support you provide doesn't feel like enough. That is the time to refer.

De-stigmatize SCC: Help take the anxiety out of seeking help. SCC is here for the students because college is a time for growth and development, which can sometimes be pretty difficult.

What Should I Let Students Know About SCC?

Points to Pass On

  • Information shared by the student with a CAPS therapist is confidential.
  • Visits to SCC are not recorded on academic transcripts.
  • Students use SCC services for many reasons. Students face many academic concerns and social pressures. At times, they may feel anxious, angry, lonely, or depressed. Some students are struggling with being away from home. Getting help is not a sign of weakness.
  • There is no charge for initial consultation appointments. CAPS works in a brief therapy model and the number of sessions a student needs is discussed between the student and the therapist.
  • Group therapy is available at no charge to students

Presentation: Identifying and Assisting Students in Distress
This presentation covers recognizing a student in distress, how to assist the student, and making a referral to the Student Counseling Center.
To schedule a presentation contact Dr. Kenneth Chew at 812-237-3939 or

Walk-in or same-day consultation services are available during our regular hours for students who feel they are in crisis and require immediate care.

During Regular Hours

After Hours

Sexual Assault Crisis

You are not alone. We have services here to help anyone who has experienced an assault. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted,

Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risks of STDs and pregnancy.

For more information on ISU Sexual Violence Prevention and Response link to