Risk, where possible, needs to be responded to and managed carefully. While the student is an adult and reserves the right to act as they see fit within the law, it is important for us to take risks seriously and ensure the best possible support is in place for the student to try to help reduce the chance of harm occurring.

Our main aim in dealing with risk is to involve others and to widen support at the earliest opportunity.

It is unhelpful, and possibly unsafe, to support a student directly with risk issues if you have not been formally trained in that area.

It is useful to keep in mind that a student's risky behaviour may be a coping mechanism for very difficult emotions or memories and, as such, it may be a necessary support for day-to-day functioning.

Nevertheless, it is important to recognise that your ability to be patient, empathic, and your willingness to give the student time and space to talk, is critical in helping them and directing them onwards to other services.