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There are occasions when a student’s behaviour may be so extreme, or out of the ordinary, that those around them have serious doubts about their ability to function safely. While people aged 18 and over are considered to be adults and therefore responsible for their own well-being, some circumstances may lead us to feel their judgement may be impaired and they should definitely be seen by a health professional. Circumstances indicating this fall into two categories.

  1. Where there is an element of danger
  2. Where symptoms suggest the student is losing their grip on reality and may have serious mental health problems
Top: Students listening to a concerns from a concerned fellow student.

Students listening to a concerns from a concerned fellow student

Where there is an element of danger

The student indicates they are at risk of causing serious harm to themself or to another person. Detailed plans to end their own life, rather than vague thoughts about suicide, suggest the student may be preparing to act. Sometimes, people whose mental health is compromised do not actively plan to end their life, but repeatedly put themselves in dangerous situations which could cause them harm, such as driving recklessly, being out of control due to substance abuse, or random promiscuity. Where there is a threat to harm someone else, an aggressive or obsessive preoccupation with this task and the existence of a firm plan may indicate serious intent.

A concerned staff member listening to a distressed student

Where symptoms suggest the student is losing their grip on reality and may have serious mental health problems

Signs to look out for can include: