Emory Cares:
Creating a Student Centered, Supportive Campus Community Together

Emory University is committed to creating a caring, student-centered campus environment that supports graduate and professional students’ learning, well-being, and sense of belonging and purpose. This commitment is a campus-wide responsibility, and we each have a role to play. Caring faculty and staff can be of great assistance to students who feel overwhelmed.

A common reaction when faced with student struggle is to want to refer the student to a mental health provider. However, supporting a student’s well-being does not always involve a clinical solution as much as a relational one. By shifting away from clinical language (e.g., depression, anxiety) to describe common student struggles (e.g., loneliness, fear of failure), we are in a better position to relate to them in a supportive, engaging manner and help them feel that they belong here. For many students, a connection with a trusted adult will be all the healing they need. And when more support is needed, Emory University has an array of resources to help.

Our graduate and professional students are incredibly diverse. Their intersecting identities and current sociopolitical events significantly impact how they experience daily life and engage university resources, which in turn affects their overall well-being. Relatedly, what we do and how we do it impacts our campus culture. Our words, actions, assumptions, and expectations – as well as our systems and protocols (e.g., syllabus statements, class attendance policies, access to resources, unconscious bias) – impact our students’ experiences. At times, elements of our culture may contribute to students struggling in ways that negatively impact academic performance and personal well-being. We must recognize when that is happening and provide appropriate support.

Raising awareness about support resources for graduate and professional students can positively affect their mental health and well-being. As students navigate our university’s complex systems, we must keep in mind that they are often unaware of the range of available resources. In addition, their perspectives vary on whether such resources are accessible or culturally appropriate for them. Students thrive when we demonstrate sensitivity to their viewpoints and experiences, provide trauma-informed support, and offer culturally appropriate resources.

 

How to Reduce Student Stress in the Classroom

There are many things that faculty can do in the classroom to support students’ well-being. For example: a) make expectations clear at the start of each semester and include syllabus statements that acknowledge struggle (see sample below*); b) emphasize the importance of coming to office hours, clarify what “office hours” are for, and encourage students to use the teaching assistant; and c) promote rest as an academic and pedagogical strategy.

It’s important to remember that we live in a world that pits self-care and achievement against each other. With this in mind, invite students to question such mentalities and join a mindset that locates well-being as an act of resistance against toxic norms of society or highly competitive settings. You can help students re-narrate self-care as an instrument that serves academic success. Also, you can remind them that learning (not simply the completion of academic tasks) relies on sufficient energy, time, and space to absorb what is being taught. They don’t need to buy into the myth that one must surrender rest in order to do well.

*Sample Syllabus Statement: Many students face personal and environmental challenges that can interfere with their academic success and overall wellbeing. If you are struggling with this class, please visit me during office hours or contact me via email at XXXX@emory.edu. If you are feeling overwhelmed and think you might benefit from additional support, please know that there are people who care and offices to support you at Emory. These services – including confidential resources – are provided by staff who are respectful of students' diverse backgrounds. For an extensive list of well-being resources on campus, please go to: http://campuslife.emory.edu/support/index.html. And keep in mind that Emory offers free, 24/7 emotional, mental health, and medical support resources on the Emory Anytime Student Health resource page: http://campuslife.emory.edu/anytimehealth.html.

 

How to Respond When Students Need Help

Students feeling overwhelmed can benefit from intervention by caring faculty or staff members. Thus, it is important that we know how best to intervene – whether providing a listening ear, sharing a similar personal experience, helping students understand Emory systems, referring them to campus resources, or responding to an immediate safety concern.

Recognize & RELATE

In many situations, the most appropriate response is to take the time to relate to the student. This means listening attentively, expressing care and concern, acknowledging the importance of what has been shared, responding to the emotions expressed, summarizing and clarifying what you have heard, offering support and assistance, and following up with the student. In this way, we help students understand and contextualize their experiences, increase their capacity to cope, and feel a greater sense of belonging and community at Emory.

Recognize & REFER

In some situations, the most appropriate response is to ensure safety. If a student expresses thoughts of harming self or others, displays a weapon, behaves erratically, or is unable to function, get immediate help. Call Emory Police and/or refer the student to professionals in Student Case Management and Interventions Services (SCMIS) or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). If you see that a student needs crisis support, remain calm, treat them with dignity and respect, and, if appropriate, follow up to express your concern.

What to Expect When You Make a Referral

It is only natural that you want to know the outcome of your referral and how the student is doing. Creating a supportive community requires balancing the desire to know the details about our students’ well-being with their right to privacy and the university’s requirements to comply with various regulations. That said, you are encouraged to follow up directly with students you have referred to ask if they have connected with resources.

About Privacy and Confidentiality

Some offices, such as CAPS and Student Health Services, are bound by law to confidentiality in safeguarding student privacy. Sometimes, we may conflate privacy and confidentiality, unintentionally preventing students from receiving the support they need. Most faculty and staff are bound by privacy considerations under FERPA rather than confidentiality. University officials working collaboratively on behalf of a student have considerable leeway in sharing information to create an integrated system of care. Letting students know up front that you will respect their privacy – but that you will share information as needed to support them – will create greater clarity and safety for them.

What to Do If You Need Support

Sometimes, helping a student who needs care and support can be taxing on your personal well-being. Remember to always be safe and take care of yourself, too. That means intervening to help a student in a way that is appropriate for the situation, comfortable for you, and maintains professional boundaries.

If you need support, resources are available through the following:

How to Use the Resources Below

Listed below are common student concerns that may require intervention. Under each concern, there are:

  • common signs that a student may be in distress and struggling with a particular issue;
  • some suggestions on how to relate to the student to express your concern;
  • and referral options for urgent response, consultation, and/or ongoing support.
It may feel overwhelming to know exactly where to refer a student for support. Please be assured that the offices listed below work collaboratively to connect students to appropriate resources. If you are concerned about a student and can help them get into the pipeline of support, we will help your student get to the right place. You are encouraged to reach out to any of the offices listed to consult about a particular situation. Please note that some issues (e.g., Title IX issues) have mandatory reporting requirements for faculty/staff and, if so, this is indicated.

Feedback about this document can be directed to campuslife@emory.edu

Student Concerns


Candler School of Theology
Ellen Purdum, Assistant Dean of Student Life
ellen.echols.purdum@emory.edu 

Goizueta Business School
See contacts for specific programs: https://goizueta.emory.edu/about/leadership 

Laney Graduate School
Jennifer Cason, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
jcason2@emory.edu

Law School
Katherine Brokaw, Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement and Success
kbrokaw@emory.edu

Rollins School of Public Health
Joanne Amposta Williams, Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Student Services
joanne.paredes.amposta@emory.edu

Emory School of Medicine
Ira Schwartz, Associate Dean
ischwar@emory.edu

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Arnita Howard, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives
ahoward@emory.edu

RECOGNIZE

  • Frequently appears intoxicated, hung over, or smells of alcohol or marijuana.
  • Significant changes in mood or appearance.
  • Decline in academic performance.

RELATE

  • State your concern directly, noting behaviors you have observed.
  • Let student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support.
  • Inform and refer student to available support services.
  • Follow up with student to ask how they’re doing and whether they’ve accessed support resources. A student needing treatment for substance abuse will often feel ambivalence about getting help and may engage in multiple starts in treatment before fully engaging.

REFER

Urgent:

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727-6111

Support Services/Consultation:

AOD Counselor in Office of Health Promotions: 404-727-1000

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Student Health Services: 404-727-7551

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193

ULifeline (anonymous self-assessment on CAPS website): http://www.ulifeline.org/emory/self_evaluator

AA Meetings: https://atlantaaa.org/

NA Meetings:  https://www.na.org/

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS) Team, 24/7: 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

RECOGNIZE

  • You learn of language and/or actions that demonstrate bias because of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or military veteran status.
  • Bias can include name-calling, stereotyping, belittling, or excluding others based on their identity.
  • Some incidents may rise to the level of discriminatory harassment, sexual misconduct, or other violations of policy or law.

RELATE

  • If a student informs you about a bias incident, let the student know you believe them and care about their well-being. 
  • Avoid blaming the student, minimizing the event, and/or making excuses for offensive behavior.
  • Encourage student to save any evidence (e.g., photos, texts) and not remove any evidence (e.g., graffiti) prior to reporting it.
  • Refer student to appropriate resources.
  • Follow up with student to ask if they have been connected with appropriate support resources.

REFER

Urgent

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727-6111

Respect Hotline: 470-270-5360

Support Services/Consultation:

Belonging & Community Justice:

  • Center for Women: 404-727-2031
  • LGBT Life: 404-727-0272
  • Racial and Cultural Engagement (RACE): 404-727-6754

Bias Support Services: http://campuslife.emory.edu/about/initiatives/bias/index.html

Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 404-727-9867

Ombuds Office: 404-727-1531

Open Expression Policy & Observers: 404-727-7190

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Submit Bias Incident Report (http://bit.ly/EU-BiasReport)

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

RECOGNIZE

  • Student talks about feeling overwhelmed by childcare concerns.
  • Mentions having personal problems. Appears overwhelmed.
  • Frequent or extended absences from class.
  • Decline in academic performance.

RELATE

  • Show empathy and concern.
  • Let student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support.
  • Clarify any class policies that might impact their situation.
  • Inform and refer stduent to available support services.
  • Follow up to express care and concern.

REFER

Urgent

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 404-430-1120

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Office of Spiritual & Religious Life: 404-727-6226

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193 

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

RECOGNIZE

  • Students can have visible or hidden disabilities that may be long-term or short-term.  If a student is registered with the Department of Accessibility Services (DAS), they may approach you and provide a letter of accommodation.  Some students with a disability may try to tough it out without getting formal accommodations, which can negatively impact their academic performance. 
  • Include a syllabus statement that references accommodations and attendance policies. Information on how to support students with a disability can be found here:  http://accessibility.emory.edu/faculty-resources/assisting-you/5-tips.html

RELATE

  • If presented with a letter of accommodation from DAS, thank the student for sharing the letter and let them know that you care about their well-being and want to be supportive.  Respect the student’s privacy by not asking specific information about their disability.  Instead, refer to the instructions provided by DAS in the letter.
  • For students with a disability who have not accessed support, refer the student to DAS, their academic advisor, or other support services.

REFER

Urgent

Accessibility Services: 404-727-9877

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 404-727-9867

Ombuds Office: 404-727-1531

Student Health Services: 404-727-7551 

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

RECOGNIZE

  • Causes distractions/interruptions.
  • Is rude/abusive; refuses to follow your requests/instructions. 
  • Other students witnessing the behavior may also need you to recognize when their safety and/or learning is being negatively impacted and to respond, relate, and refer accordingly.

RELATE

  • Invite student to speak privately with you after class. State your concerns directly, noting behaviors you have observed. Clearly state the alternate behavior that you expect from the student. 
  • At times, you may need to address the behavior directly in class as it is occurring and/or follow up with the class as a whole. 

REFER

Urgent

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727-6111

Support Services/Consultation:

Center for Faculty Development & Excellence: http://cfde.emory.edu/

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Ombuds Office: 404-727-1531

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193 

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 404-430-1120

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

 

Financial concerns e.g., food insecurity, loss of housing, financial emergency, unable to afford textbooks

RECOGNIZE

  • Asks about free or low-cost food options. Talks about missing meals or being hungry.
  • Describes housing difficulties or “couch surfing.”
  • Appears exhausted.
  • Excessive worry, trouble sleeping, appetite disturbance.
  • Decline in academic performance.

RELATE

  • State your concerns directly, noting behaviors you have observed. 
  • Listen to clarify student’s concern.
  • Let student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support.
  • Inform/refer student to available support services.

REFER

Urgent

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 404-430-1120

Support Services/Consultation:

Bread Coffeehouse: https://www.breadcoffeehouse.org

Financial Aid: 404-727-6039

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193

Student Health Services Insurance: https://studenthealth.emory.edu/insurance/index.html

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

 

Harassment (sexual and non-sexual)

RECOGNIZE

  • Reports threats, intimidation, unwanted contact, sexually abusive language, and/or demands for sexual favors.
  • Appears exhausted.
  • Excessive worry, trouble sleeping, appetite disturbance.
  • Decline in academic performance.

RELATE 

  • Express empathy and concern. Ask if there are any immediate safety concerns. 
  • Clarify role as a mandatory reporter under Title IX.
  • Assist student with contacting the appropriate support services.
  • Follow-up with student to ask if they have been connected to appropriate support resources.

REFER

Urgent

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727-6111

Respect Hotline: 404-270-5360

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Respect Hotline: 404-270-5360

Ombuds: 404-727-1531

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Respect Hotline: 404-270-5360

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

Title IX Office (sexual): 404-727-4079

Equity & Inclusion (non-sexual): 404-727-9867

 

RECOGNIZE

  • Expresses fear or concern about arrest or deportation.
  • Appears exhausted.
  • Excessive worry - especially about getting a job, trouble sleeping, appetite disturbance.
  • Missing classes; decline in academic performance.

RELATE 

  • State your concerns directly, noting behaviors you have observed.
  • Let the student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support.
  • Reassure student about Emory's commitment to international, DACA, and undocumented students.
  • Inform and refer student to available support services.

REFER

Urgent

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS): 404-727-3300

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS): 404-727-3300

Provost's Office: 404-727-6055

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

ISSS regarding H1-B and change in student status: 404-727-3300

 

RECOGNIZE

  • Withdrawal and lack of engagement.
  • Mentions homesickness, lack of friendships, difficulty forming relationships.
  • Missing classes. 
  • Decline in academic performance.

RELATE

  • Normalize and contextualize the experience.
  • Ask how the student has gotten through similar situations in the past.
  • If you feel comfortable, share a personal experience of dealing with isolation, loneliness, or adjustment, and what you learned from the experience.
  • Ask student about their interests and refer to appropriate offices and student organizations. Follow up with student to express your concern and see how they are doing.

REFER

Support Services/Consultation:

Belonging & Community Justice –

  • Center for Women: 404-727-2031
  • LGBT Life: 404-727-0272
  • Racial and Cultural Engagement: 404-727-6754

Civic & Community Engagement: 404-712-9616

Recreation & Wellness: 404-727-6394

Spiritual & Religious Life: 404-727-6226

Student Involvement, Leadership, and Transitions: 404-727-6169

TalkNow 24/7 support with TimelyMD: www.timely.md/emory (or download the app)

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

RECOGNIZE

  • Frequent absences from class.
  • Changes in appearance, e.g., weight loss/gain, hair loss, skin conditions.
  • Urgent: Seizure, fainting, difficulty breathing or speaking.

RELATE

  • State your concern directly, noting behaviors you have observed.
  • Let student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support. 
  • Inform and refer student to available support services. 
  • Follow-up with student to ask if they have accessed resources.

REFER

Urgent:

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727 6111

Support Services/Consultation:

Accessibility Services: 404-727-9877

Student Health Services: 404-727-7551

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

RECOGNIZE

  • Student talks about death of a family member or friend.
  • Student describes being impacted by tragedy or natural disaster (e.g., fires, flood, hurricane). 
  • Mentions having personal problems. Appears overwhelmed.
  • Frequent or extended absences from class.
  • Decline in academic performance.

RELATE

  • Show empathy and concern.
  • Let student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support. 
  • Clarify any class policies that might impact their situation. 
  • Inform and refer student to available support services. 
  • Follow up to express care and concern.

REFER

Urgent

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 404-430-1120

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Office of Spiritual & Religious Life: 404-727-6226

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

RECOGNIZE

  • Reports an assault against themselves or another person. 
  • Shares that they are in a relationship that includes interpersonal violence. 

RELATE

  • Express empathy and concern. Ask if there are any immediate safety concerns. 
  • Clarify role as a mandatory reporter under Title IX.
  • Assist student with contacting the appropriate support services.
  • Follow-up with student to ask if they have been connected to appropriate support resources.

REFER

Urgent

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727-6111

Respect Hotline: 404-270-5360

Day League (24-hour community crisis hotline): 404-377-1428

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Respect Hotline: 404-270-5360

Student Health Services (for subacute care): 404-727-7551

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Respect Hotline: 404-270-5360

Mandatory Report:

Title IX Office: 404-727-4079

RECOGNIZE

  • Student talks or writes about killing or harming themselves.
  • Decline in academic performance.
  • Cuts or other wounds.
  • Withdrawal from friends.
  • Giving away treasured items. 
  • Friends express concern about a fellow student’s safety.

RELATE

  • Ask to speak with the student in a private space. Assure the student that you can honor their privacy, however, do not promise to keep what they share confidential due to the need to prioritize their safety. 
  • State your concern directly, noting behaviors you have observed.
  • Ask directly if they are having thoughts of suicide, a plan, and if they have made an attempt.
  • Let student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support. 
  • Assist student with contacting the appropriate support services.
  • Follow-up with student to ask how they are doing and whether they have accessed support resources.

REFER

Urgent

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727-6111

Georgia Crisis & Access Line: 1-800-715-4225

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193

Student Health Services (Primary Care & Psychiatry): 404-727-7551

Crisis Text Line: text “Home” to 741741 (students of color can text “Steve” to 741741) 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

 

RECOGNIZE

  • Aggressive, abusive language and/or behavior. 
  • Stalking behavior. 
  • Brandishing or threatening use of a weapon. 

RELATE

  • Remain calm. The objective is to deescalate the situation. 
  • Treat student with dignity and respect.
  • Clearly state what behavior needs to stop and what behavior you would want to see (“I need you to stop yelling, sit down, and tell me calmly why you’re upset.”).
  • Ask directly if they are having thoughts of suicide, a plan, and if they’ve made an attempt.
  • Ask directly if they are having thoughts of harming others. 
  • Let student know you care about their well-being and want to help them access support.
  • If there are other students present, attend to their needs as well. Encourage everyone to stay calm. If it is safe for other students to leave the situation, encourage them to do so. Follow up with the impacted students to express concern about their well-being and refer them to appropriate resources. 

REFER

Urgent

Emory Police (EPD): 911 or 404-727-6111

Support Services/Consultation:

Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450

Student Case Management & Intervention Services: 404-727-4193

REPORT

Request a check-in with student:

Student Intervention Services (SIS): 

Mandatory Report:

N/A

Resources