Loyola University Chicago

Office of the Dean of Students

Division of Student Development

Information for Staff & Faculty

‌Responding to Emotionally Distressed Students

In your role as a staff or faculty member at Loyola, you may come in contact with students who are emotionally troubled or distressed. A student might directly confide private concerns to you, or you might infer that the student is in distress by observing certain behavior.

Each member of the Loyola community has a responsibility to help students succeed. Often, a faculty or staff person is in a position to offer the first helping hand to a student. The information listed below may help faculty and staff to offer assistance to students in a potentially difficult or uncomfortable situation. Each of us has our own comfort level. Remember, do the best you can. The most important thing is that you do something.

Wellness Center resources for faculty and staff:

  • Signs of Distress

  • Talking with a Student

  • Psychological/Behavioral Emergencies

  • Behavioral Concerns Team

  • Mental Health Links   

Understanding FERPA

Protecting student privacy is a high priority of the BCT. Records and proceedings of the BCT are kept confidential and shared only on a "need to know" basis in a manner consistent with University policy and the University's obligations under applicable law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA").

FERPA protects the privacy of students' education records. FERPA does not prohibit or in any way restrict a University employee from sharing what they personally observe. In other words, a University employee would not violate FERPA by advising BCT of what the employee saw or heard when directly interacting with a student, observing a student interact with others, or otherwise observing a student's behavior or demeanor.

Additionally, if a Loyola faculty member notices disturbing content in a student's writing or artwork, the faculty member should refer this to the BCT. Although the student's writing or artwork may also be part of the student's education record, FERPA authorizes school officials such as faculty to disclose education records to other school officials with a legitimate educational interest in those records, without the student's consent. Since the BCT is responsible for identifying, responding to, and supporting at-risk Loyola students while supporting the safety of the Loyola community, the BCT has a legitimate educational interest in examining student's writing or artwork.

For further information regarding FERPA, click here.