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Red Folder is an electronic resource to help faculty and staff recognize, respond to, and refer students in distress. It contains important tips and information about a wide range of campus and community resources that are available for students.

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Action steps

Recognize Distress

UConn faculty and staff are in a position where they have frequent contact with students and may be the first to see that something seems off. 


    • Sudden decline in work quality and grades 
    • Frequently missed classes and assignments 
    • Bizarre, disturbing, or otherwise concerning content in writing or presentations 
    • Repeated classroom disruptions 
    • Continuously coming to you for personal rather than academic counseling 


    • Noticeable changes in physical appearance including hygiene, grooming, sudden weight loss/gain
    • Excessive sleepiness or falling asleep in class 
    • Visibly under the influence of alcohol or other drugs 
    • Seeming disoriented or confused 


    • Repeated tearfulness
    • Panic symptoms 
    • Self-disclosure of personal distress (e.g. family conflict, financial problems, depression, grief, thoughts of suicide) 
    • Verbal abuse  
    • Expressions of concern by other students 

Risk related 

    • Unprovoked anger or hostility 
    • Implying or making a direct threat to self or others 
    • Academic assignments dominated by themes of death, extreme hopelessness, helplessness, isolation, rage, violence, self-injury
    • Communicating threats via email, text, social media or phone calls 


Use these important tips when responding to a distressed student: 

Safety First. If there is an imminent danger to the student, you, or others, call Campus Police or 911. 

Be Proactive. If you notice that something seems off, engage students early on. Waiting could mean that the problem gets worse before you see them again. 

Stay Calm. Take a few deep breaths. Use a calm voice when talking and asking questions. 

Ask Direct Questions. Inquire directly if the student is having thoughts of harm to themselves, suicide, or thoughts of hurting others. 

Active Listening. Give the student your full attention.  Restate or summarize what the students says so that they feel understood. 

Seek Consultation. You are not alone. 

Review Title IX guidelines here.


Expressing concern and connecting the student to the appropriate resources is important. Determine what the student needs using the Response Protocol below:

Response Protocol



I am not concerned for the student’s immediate safety, but they are having significant academic and/or personal issues and could use more support.

Refer to Dean of Students at

For Graduate Students, Refer to

Student shows signs of distress, but I am unsure of how serious it is. The interaction left me feeling uneasy and/or very concerned about the student.

Consult and/or refer to Student Health and Wellness

Report to CARE Team

Student’s behavior is imminently dangerous to self or others, reckless, or disorderly.  Student needs immediate assistance.


Regional Campuses

Crisis Lines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (English)········································988 or 800-273-8255

Línea de vida nacional para la prevención del suicidio(Spanish)······800-628-9454

Veterans Crisis Line··························································································800-273-8255

Crisis Text 24 hour Crisis line ····································································TEXT:  741741

The Trevor Project: Suicide Hotline for LGBTQ Youth·····················866-488-7386

Mobile Assessment Services ······································································860-297-0999

CT Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline ·······························································888-999-5545

Domestic Violence Hotline ··········································································860-527-0550

Emergency Shelter ··························································································211