Professional staff in COMPASS, Tiger Counseling, The Dean of Students Offices, and the Womyns Center are trained to assist with many of the challenges students face.
However, every member of the Wittenberg community can do something to show students that they care! Below are a few things to keep in mind when someone comes to you:
Care and Support: What You Can Do
Take a break from what you are doing to focus solely on the student and simply listen to what is being shared.
Talking in private, if possible, will likely be more comfortable!
Clarify what the the student is sharing with open ended questions. Start questions with words such as: why, how, what, describe, tell me about..., or what do you think about.... The phrase "tell me about" does not begin with a question but is a great option too!
Explore with the student options for getting assistance (e.g. meeting with the Director of Student Conduct, scheduling an appointment at Tiger Counseling, etc).
Acknowledge And Refer
Express interest, care, and concern. It's important that the student feels what they are sharing is important!
It's ok to acknowledge the limits of your skills and training! There are others who are trained to deal with what the student is sharing. Communicate your limits and offer to help students get connected to those who can help. If appropriate, you may want to walk the student to The Counseling Center, Dean of Students office, COMPASS or another resource where one of the professional staff can quickly assist.
In addition, it is important to be upfront about your confidentiality limitations. If students share that they are thinking about harming themselves or others, you need to get others involved. For Wittenberg community members who are Mandated Reporters, reports of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination must be reported.
Take comments about suicide, violence, or harm to self or others seriously. Call Witt PD (937) 327-6363 or 911 immediately, or ask someone around you to call while you stay with the student.
Lastly, take the time to share your concern using the Share a Concern online form. Even if the sharing of the situation shows you care about their holistic wellbeing and making sure they continue to be supported.