NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Addressing Student Concerns

With the recent student deaths and rising concerns with mental health, the campus community has been going through a difficult time in determining how to support and serve our students. Addressing student concerns can be challenging despite the many resources and the information the University has provided for faculty, staff, and students. This article provides some guidance on steps that can be taken when addressing a student concern and information on training offered by UH.

  • If you speak to or receive an email from a student which indicates the student may be in direct physical or mental danger, you should immediately call UH police to inform them of the email content and to request a welfare check on the student. You should also submit an incident report to the Dean of Students which summarizes the concern (i.e., include a summary of the conversation with the student and/or a copy of the email received in your incident report).
  • If you speak to or receive an email in which a student expresses an academic concern as well as mental health challenges but does not indicate any direct danger to their physical safety, you should respond to the email to acknowledge receipt, request a meeting with the student to discuss their concern, and provide them with a list of available campus resources as shown below. You should also submit an incident report to the Dean of Students who will determine if any additional action needs to be taken (i.e., immediate welfare check, meeting with the student, etc.)
    Student Resources:
  • If you speak to or receive an email in which a student expresses mental health challenges and you are uncertain of how to address the concern, you may reach out to the following:
    1. The Dean of Students Office via email or by phone at 832-842-6183;
    2. Your department chair and/or department leaders;
    3. NSM Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Student Success, Donna Stokes (dstokes@uh.edu or 713-743-3588) or the Assistant Dean for Student Success, Donna Pattison (dpattison@uh.edu or 713-743-2642).

To help faculty, staff, and students equip themselves for managing such concerns, the University offers two training workshops, Suicide Prevention Training: Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and Helping Students of Concern. Sessions for these workshops are offered weekly or on a regular schedule throughout the year. If you have not had the opportunity to engage in the workshops, we encourage you to do so individually or in groups as this will better prepare you to support our students and one another.

This is a tough time for us all. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you, your colleagues, or students need support.