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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

When Counseling May Be Needed

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The list below outlines behavioral changes or stressful events in students' lives which may warrant counseling. The following sections address specific types of emotional and behavioral concerns you may find when working with students. It is critical to remember that although you may be a key source of support to a student, you cannot be expected to do it all.  When you feel particularly concerned about a distressed student, please feel free to consult with the Counseling Center (389-1455) or encourage the student to seek help through our services.


Trauma or Crisis in Relationships

  • Break-up or change in relationship status
  • Loss or illness of a family member or close friend
  • Conflict with roommate, friend, or family
  • Victim of assault

Unusual Behavior or Marked Change in Behavior

  • Listlessness or frequently falling asleep in class
  • Disruptive or threatening behavior in classroom or residence
  • Changes in appearance, including weight and hygiene
  • Extreme mood changes or excessive, inappropriate display of emotion
  • Sudden withdrawal from people or excessive sleep
  • Hyperactivity, chronic irritability, or excessive anxiety
  • Confusion, disorientation, or bizarre behavior

Problems with Academic Performance

  • Poor academic performance and preparation, especially if such behavior represents a change from previous functioning
  • Repeated request for special accommodations
  • Test or speech anxiety
  • Confusion over low performance

Harmful Statements or Behaviors

  • Overt references to suicide or statements of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Indications of persistent or prolonged unhappiness
  • Extreme risk-taking behavior

Substance Abuse

  • Evidence or excessive use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Impaired daily functioning secondary to substance use (e.g., not attending classes, not going to work)