Online Learning Environments
Those teaching online courses or who are interacting with students electronically have some special concerns. Here is information specific to these situations:
First, Don't Worry Alone
Instructors should always have a low threshold to picking up the phone to call the Counseling Center staff (920) 424-2061 (during regular business hours) or Dean of Students Office (920) 424-2061. Regardless of which office you call, we will consult with each other or refer the instructor to the other office depending upon who can best meet the need.
If written work of concern has been submitted, we will often ask the instructor to forward the written work so we can review it as part of the conversation. Generally, writing that appears disorganized, bizarre, maudlin or vaguely suicidal prompts the concern. This writing can also be paired with classroom or prior writing that seemed odd, out of character or somewhat concerning. Generally, these situations are not emergencies and are best addressed the next business day.
In Case of Emergency, Get Others Involved
What constitutes an emergency and what action should be taken?
- If a student is speaking/writing about a plan or intention to harm self or others or writing at length about wanting to die with references to how or when they may take action, this should prompt an immediate call.
- If outside of regular business hours, ask the student to call 1-800-273-TALK (if outside of Winnebago County) or 233-7707 if in Winnebago County.
- If you cannot get in touch with a student who left a statement that leads you to believe that his/her safety or the safety of others is at risk, call the University Police (920) 424-1212.
It is appropriate to provide police with the students contact information as well as all relevant information under these circumstances. University Police, pursuant to a call regarding the safety and security of a student, will assess the information and determine appropriate actions to take in order to check on the welfare of that student.
Actions may include, but are not limited to:
- personal contact
- phone contact
- contact with family and friends
- use of outside agencies to facilitate these contacts