Responding to Distressed Individuals

Faculty, staff, friends, and family will often be the first to encounter a student who is in distress. Encouraging and helping the student to seek assistance with the appropriate campus and community resources is important. Primary Contact Deans (PCDs) are readily accessible points of contact for faculty, staff, students, or anyone in the Scripps College community who is concerned about a distressed student.

The Role of the PCD:

  • Consult about a Scripps College community member
  • Provide referrals to campus departments
  • Develop action plans as appropriate

To refer a student to their PCD, contact the Dean of Students Office or the dean on call (consult the resource grid below).

IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY and/or there is a potential threat to you or someone else:
Call 911 or Campus Safety at x72000

Students in Distress

Students may experience various levels of stress during the course of their academic career. You may be the first person in a position to help the student by referring them to one of the listed resources.

Signs of students in distress:

  • Disruptive behavior (see definition below)
  • Emotionally distressed behavior (see definition below)
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiousness
  • Inability to focus
  • Missed assignments
  • Missed classes

What you can do:

  • Look for ways to intervene
  • Use available resources to help the student
  • Reach out to the student: say something, call for assistance

Tips for talking to a student with any level of distress:

  • Accept and respect what is said.
  • Try to focus on an aspect of the problem that is manageable.
  • Avoid easy answers such as, “Everything will be all right.”
  • Help to identify resources.
  • Trust your insight and reactions. Let others know your concerns.
  • Do not promise secrecy or offer confidentiality to the person.
  • Encourage the person to seek help.

Definition of Terms

Disruptive Behavior

Any behavior not conducive to the teaching and learning communities or residential life that interferes with the functions and services of the College. Certain behaviors may be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Emotionally Distressed Behavior

Behaviors that have an underlying mental health component, including threatening to harm self or others, delusional thinking, experiencing hallucinations, or becoming extremely withdrawn or depressed. Mental health issues can alter the content of the student’s communication or behavior.

Support Resources

24/7 Resources
Resource Phone Campus phone Email
Campus Safety (909) 607-2000 72000
Therapist on Call (909) 621-8202, Press 1 18202 n/a
After Hours
Resource Phone Campus phone Email
Dean on Call (909) 607-2000 72000 n/a
Daytime Hours
8:30 am–5 pm
Resource Phone Campus phone Email
Dean of Students Office (909) 621-8277 18277
Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS) (909) 621-8202 18202 n/a
Chaplains (909) 621-8685 18685
Student Health Services (SHS) (909) 621-8222 18222
EmPOWER Center, the Violence Prevention and Advocacy Center of The Claremont Colleges (909) 607-2689 72689
Primary Contact Deans (PCD) (909) 621-8277 18277
Tiernan Field House (909) 607-8810 78810
Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment, or SCORE (909) 607-8869 78869
Title IX at Scripps College (909) 607-7142 77142

Online Reporting Tools

Title IX Incident Report
LiveSafe App

Additional Consortium Resources

Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC)
Chicano/Latino Student Affairs (CLSA)
Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA)
Health Education Outreach (HEO)
7C Sexual Misconduct Resources

National Crisis Lines

Trevor Lifeline (866) 488-7386
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255
LA County Suicide Prevention Hotlines (800) 854-7771

National Resource

Project Sister