Department of Counseling
& Psychological Services
West Chester University
Julie Perone, Ph.D.
241A Lawrence Center
West Chester, PA 19383
At times, faculty members may take note of changes in a student’s behavior or in one’s appearance. Some of the signs that a student may be experiencing distress include the following:
Almost everyone reports having days when they just feel “down” – nothing in particular but just an overall feeling of blah-ness. But when students experience long-standing periods of depression, without proper treatment, this can lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair and result in suicidal thought or intent. Some of the signs of depression may include changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, increased physical complaints, trouble concentrating, changes in mood, as well as a decreased interest in activities that once gave the student pleasure. With prompt and proper treatment (therapy and, in some cases, medication) depression can easily be treated. However, when left untreated, the symptoms can worsen and result in suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Some of the risk factors for suicide include:
Frequently, an individual’s risk for suicide may be heightened when one is coming out of a depressed state. This is the time when professionals are most concerned that the individual who once was suicidal and had seriously contemplated suicide now feels he/she has the energy necessary to do so. Monitoring a student who has been severely depressed is an ongoing process, until one senses that the individual can guarantee safety and is showing marked signs of progress and improvement in one’s emotional state.
Typically, students who act out violently have problems controlling their feelings and behaviors and are more likely to be impulsive. Some of the warning signs of violence include the following: