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Campus Care Guide

Part 1: Recognizing Emotional Distress

Pay attention for multiple signs of distress

Consider: Frequency, Duration, and Severity

When in doubt reach out to your MHWS team for consultation and support.

Academic Signs
  • Decline in quality of work or grades
  • Repeated absences or requests for extensions
  • Overly demanding of time and attention
  • Disruptive/inappropriate behavior
  • Concerning content in writing, presentations, or discussions
Physical Signs
  • Poor hygiene or deterioration in appearance
  • Noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Excessive fatigue, listlessness, or lack of energy
  • Swollen or red eyes
Psychological Signs
  • Personality changes, "not acting like themselves"
  • Mood changes: increased irritability, anxiety, anger, or moodiness
  • Difficulty controlling emotions or calming down
  • Loss of joy/pleasure
  • Feeling hopeless or overwhelmed
Behavioral Signs
  • Withdrawal or social isolation
  • Impulsive or risky behavior
  • Verbal outbursts
  • Physical signs of agitation: restlessness, hyperactivity, rapid speech
  • Incoherent, confused speech
  • Verbal or written statements covering themes such as suicide, death, homicide, acts of violence or other threatening statements
Warning Signs for Suicide
  • Direct communication: talking/writing about wanting to die, extreme shame/guilt, and/or being a burden to others
  • Indirect communication: vague written or verbal statements about suicide (e.g. "I can't do this anymore," "What's the point?")
  • Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, extreme sadness
  • Saying goodbye, tying up "loose ends," giving possessions away

If you are concerned about a student's immediate physical safety, contact Public Safety at 631-451-4242.

To consult about a non-emergency mental health situation contact Mental Health & Wellness Services.

Part 2: Responding to Students in Emotional Distress

It’s everyone’s job to care for one another 

As a faculty/staff member you are in a position to support a student in need 

If you feel uneasy about how to provide support, contact MHWS to discuss an intervention plan

Prepare to Reach Out to the Student
  • Become aware of campus resources
  • Contact MHWS to discuss your concerns and how to best support the student
  • Set aside adequate time for the conversation
Connect with the Student
  • This can be done through an email, video conference, phone call, or in person - choose a space that protects the student's privacy
  • Clearly and simply express your concerns; focus on the specific behavior of concern
  • Try to share your perspective without directly challenging the student
  • Listen and validate the student's feelings and experiences
  • Normalize how the student is feeling and reflect on how everyone struggles during challenging times
  • Explore the student's support system. Do they have supportive friends or family members they can go to?
  • Try to foster hope. This is just a moment in time, feelings are fluid and fleeting
Tips for Building Trust
  • Be patient
  • Listen
  • Use open-ended questions
  • Validate the student's thoughts and feelings
  • Normalize their reactions
  • Use the student's language when reflecting their thoughts and feelings
  • Use empathy
  • Be non-judgmental
  • Pay attention to your non-verbal cues
Making a Referral: Mild/Moderate Distress (No safety concerns)
  • Recognize and acknowledge your limitations (time, expertise, knowledge of resources)
  • Recommend that the student connect with a licensed professional through MHWS
  • Provide student with information on the services offered through MHWS
  • Inform the student that services are FREE & CONFIDENTIAL
  • Direct the student to the MHWS website or provide them with the contact information for their campus MHWS coordinator
  • If on campus, offer to walk the student over to MHWS
  • Call MHWS to inform them of the referral and provide pertinent information
  • Check in with the student later to see how they are doing
  • Be aware that some students might be hesitant to reach out. It sometimes takes several referrals before students seek support
Making a Referral: Severe Distress Or Crisis (Safety concerns are present)
  • Between 9AM-5PM, Monday through Friday: contact your campus MHWS Coordinator. The coordinator will ask about the situation and provide guidance on appropriate next steps.
  • After hours: contact PUBLIC SAFETY 631-451-4242

Part 3: Resource Center

Resources Available to Our Students

We encourage faculty and staff to familiarize yourself with these resources

On Campus Resources
Mental Health and Wellness Services (MHWS)


Ammerman Campus:
Ammerman Building, Counseling Center,
Room 209 
Eastern Campus:
Peconic Building
Room 212
Grant Campus:
Caumsett Hall
Room 220

Disability Services

Ammerman Campus: 
Eastern Campus: 
Grant Campus:

Student Health Services

Ammerman Campus: 631-451-4047
Eastern Campus: 631-548-2510
Grant Campus: 631-851-6709

Off Campus Resources
Psychiatric Emergencies

DASH Care Center
24-Hour Crisis Community-Based Site
90 Adams Avenue, Hauppauge, NY 11788

Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room

Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence

Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk (VIBS)
24-Hour Hotline

The Retreat (East End)
24-Hour Hotline

Crisis Hotlines/Text Lines

24-Hour Crisis Counseling

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) or
Text: START to 741-741

Substance Use/Abuse

Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD)
24-Hour Hotline

Download Printable
Campus Care Guide


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Counseling services and records are confidential and are not part of your academic record at Suffolk County Community College. Protecting the privacy of our students is of the utmost importance to us and the students we serve.

*Note: Email is not a secure form of communication therefore confidentiality cannot be assured. It should be used for scheduling purposes only.


All students enrolled in, and currently attending, credit bearing courses at SUNY Suffolk are eligible for services.