Resources for Faculty and Staff

Concerned about the well-being or safety of someone in our campus community? App State has resources to help.

Distressed behavior

  • Reluctant to acknowledge the possible need for help
  • Change in behavior and/or content of communication in the classroom
  • Marked changes in academic performance
  • Tardiness and excessive absences
  • Withdrawal and/or avoidance of participation
  • Increased anxiety around exams or deadlines
  • Difficulty working/interacting with others
  • Prolonged or frequent sadness, crying, lethargy, irritability, rapid speech, preoccupation, increased or more intense disagreements
  • Changes in physical well-being, e.g. swollen eyes from crying, increased illnesses, poor self-hygiene, rapid weight loss/gain, or sleeping in class
  • Confusion or significant inability to concentrate
  • Loss of motivation
  • Excessive mood swings
  • Reporting increased substance use, especially as a coping strategy
  • Failure to comply with corrective feedback
  • Repeated requests for special consideration, e.g., deadline extensions, changes in requirements, grade changes
  • Communication in oral, written or electronic formats that may suggest they may be thinking about self-harm (e.g. cutting, burning, hitting self) or suicide

Disruptive behavior

  • Highly disruptive, explosive or disrespectful behavior to the living-learning environment (verbal hostility, aggression, disregard for classroom decorum and expected conduct, etc.)
  • Hostility toward corrective feedback
  • Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, pressured speech; disorganized, confused or rambling speech)
  • Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things others cannot see or hear; unsubstantiated beliefs or fears that others may be conspiring against them)
  • Harassment/inappropriate communications (including threatening letters or electronic communications, such as phone calls, voicemails, emails, texts messages, social media messages, etc.)
  • Communication in oral, written or electronic formats that may suggest they may be thinking about suicide, self-harm or harming others

How to help distressed or disruptive students

  • Deal directly with the behavior by providing constructive/corrective feedback and offering to help
  • Consider having someone meet with you and the student if you have any concerns for personal safety or would feel more comfortable with another person present
  • Avoid offering confidentiality to the student should the individual wish to talk. Explain who you would share with if you needed to do so (e.g. department chair, Dean of Students Office, Office of Access and Equity: Equal Opportunity.)
  • Consider walking them to the Counseling Center if they appear to be having a mental health emergency (i.e. current suicidal thoughts with plan or intent, recent sexual assault, recent death of a loved one, possible manic or psychotic symptoms).
  • Consider helping the student call or walk to the Counseling Center or the Office of the Dean of Students or helping them call to make an appointment
  • Recommend the student seek assistance from the Counseling Center (form mental health concerns) and/or the Office of the Dean of Students (for connection to resources). Remind the student that campus counseling services are confidential
  • Offer to help make initial contact with the Counseling Center and/or the Office of the Dean of Students
  • If the student rejects referral, consult with Counseling Services and/or the Office of the Dean of Students for assistance
  • Normalize help-seeking as something everyone needs from time to time
  • Inform and consult with your supervisor

Resources for Distressed or Disruptive Students

These offices work in collaboration to support our students:

What will happen next:

Please be assured every effort will be made to help students successfully navigate challenges. We encourage additional contacts with the referral offices should your concerns continue. It is important to note that referrals to these offices are not intended to substitute for faculty or staff conversations with students.

  • Counseling does not impact or influence academic records
  • Counseling sessions are confidential and free to students. While the Counseling Center will gladly take and use information you give them, they cannot share information about the student, including attendance, without the student’s written permission.
  • Assessment measures may lead to additional referrals, counseling or in some cases, police intervention
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to all student records, so unless the student chooses to share information with you, you will likely not learn the outcome of any assistance or intervention

Dangerous Behavior
(Safety is an immediate concern)

  • Verbal or physical threats to harm one’s self or others
  • Communicates intent to attempt suicide, either verbally or in writing, and is not receptive to attempts to help
  • Student expresses they feel they are in immediate danger due to threats of harm or actions by another individual

If you feel there is or could be immediate danger to yourself or others, seek immediate assistance

Emergency 911
App State Police, Emergency Boone and Hickory Campuses 828-262-8000

App State Police Boone
461 Rivers Street, Boone, NC 28608 (first floor, Rivers Street Parking Deck)

App State Police Hickory
800 17th St. NW, Hickory, NC 28601 (first floor, next to Information Desk, office 1201)

Student Counseling (Counseling & Psychological Services) 828-262-3180
After regular business hours, select the option to speak with a counselor through ProtoCall services

Sex-Based Misconduct

Someone who has experienced sex-based misconduct or interpersonal violence (IPV) may be trying to navigate next steps. Responsible employees, including faculty, have an obligation to report disclosures of interpersonal violence and sex-based misconduct to the Office of Access and Equity: Equal Opportunity. Reporting is required to ensure that students receive appropriate resources, support and resolution options.

To learn more about these resources or your role as a responsible employee, please visit:

Prevention is key – if you are unsure about making a call to help someone, make the call. Asking for help is normal, healthy and a sign of strength.

Making Referrals at App State

Any person concerned about a student’s behavior may make a referral. The severity of the behavior will determine the action plans or response.

Boone and Hickory Campus Resources

Community Resources

  • Hickory Mental Health Crisis Line: Catawba Valley Healthcare
  • OASIS: (Boone) Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence 24-Hour Crisis Line
  • Family Guidance Center: (Hickory)

Managing conflict situations

It's not what you say, but how you say it.

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions
  • Focus on the student's concerns
  • Don't interrupt
  • Repeat for clarification: "If I am hearing you correctly..."
  • Use simple, clear vocabulary, check for understanding
  • Avoid information overload
  • Talk slowly; be comfortable with silence
  • Use "I" messages: "I feel uncomfortable when you..."
  • Brainstorm to explore all possible options
  • Jointly select the best options or combination of options
  • Ask for an "action plan" and follow-up
  • Always document any conflict