Strategies for Responding

two women talking

1. Approach

  • It’s okay to ask and express concern.
  • Be specific regarding the worries you have.
“I am concerned, you’ve missed three out of our last four seminars and now your assignment is two days late. Is everything okay?”

2. Listen

  • Meet in a private location and allow an adequate amount of time to talk.
  • Be patient and give your undivided attention.
  • Listen non-judgmentally.
  • Acknowledge their thoughts and feelings in a compassionate way.
“Sounds like some days you feel hopeless and think, why should I bother to get out of bed.”
  •  Offer hope and reassure them you are concerned and want to help.
“You don’t have to be alone with this. I’m here and I know people who can help.”

3. Refer

  • Establish the benefits of support on campus.
  • Acknowledge success other students have had.
  • Provide the student with resources. If possible, write the information out for her/him.
“Let me write down the contact information for the service we talked about.  Remember they are here for a reason – a lot of students need their help at some point while they’re here.”
  • Offer to assist the student with the call.
  • Offer a followup meeting.
  • Ask others for help.
  • Realize your offer of assistance may be rejected. The student may not want to talk to a professional about what she/he is experiencing. Take time to listen to the student’s fears and concerns about seeking help. Let the student know you are offering the referral because of your concern for her/him.
 “You don’t need to worry about confidentiality. Your counselling records are kept in a different place than your other University records.  No one ever needs to know you saw a counsellor.”

4. Support

  • Offer hope and reassurance.
“I can see you’re feeling overwhelmed. I’m confidant with some help you can break this down into manageable steps that will help you move forward.”
  • Take the student’s concern(s) seriously.
  • Indicate future availability.
  • Followup in a few days.  Ask if they found their appointment helpful.


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    Student Health Services

    Located in Harrison Hall
    (next to Campus Security)
    Physicians and Mental Health Nurse
    905-688-5550 x3243

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    Personal Counselling

    Located in the Schmon Tower – ST400
    905-688-5550 x3240 (crisis)

    905-688-5550 x4750 (non-crisis/

    appointment booking)


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    Campus Security

    Located in the Kenmore Centre (across from the Walker Complex)
    905-688-5550 x3200 (crisis)
    905-688-5550 x4300 (non-crisis)

Crisis Services
at Brock

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    Brock Campus Security

    905-688-5550 x3200

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    In Case Of Emergency

    Call 911

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    Niagara Distress Centre

    905-688-3711 (support line)

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    Niagara Health System, St. Catharines Hospital

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    Personal Counselling

    905-327-2244 (emergency after hours)

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    24 Hours Post-Secondary Student Hotline (Good 2 Talk)


After Hours Crisis Resources