Professional staff in the Student Care and Support Office are trained to assist with many of the challenges students face.

However, every member of the Emerson community can do something to show students that they care! Below are a few things to keep in mind when someone comes to you:

Care and Support: What You Can Do


Take a break from what you are doing to focus solely on the student and simply listen to what is being shared.

Talking in private if possible will likely be more comfortable!


Clarify what the the student is sharing with open ended questions. Start questions with words such as: why, how, what, describe, tell me about..., or what do you think about.... The phrase "tell me about" does not begin a question but is a great option too!

Explore with the student options for getting assistance (e.g. meeting with the Director of Student Care and Support, scheduling an appointment at Emerson Wellness Center, etc).

Acknowledge And Refer

Express interest, care, and concern. Its important that the student feels what they are sharing is important!

Its ok to acknowledge the limits of your skills and training! There are others who are trained to deal with what the student is sharing. Communicate your limits and offer to help students get connected to those who can help. If appropriate, you may want to walk the student to Emerson Wellness Center, Student Care and Support or another resource where one of the professional staff can quickly assist.

In addition, it's important to be upfront about your confidentiality limitations. If students share that they are thinking about harming themselves or others, you need to get others involved. For Emerson community members who are Campus Security Authorities, reports of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination must be reported.

Take comments about suicide, violence, or harm to self or others seriously. Call ECPD (617-824-8888) or 911 immediately, or ask someone around you to call while you stay with the student.

Lastly, take the time to share your concern using the Share a Concern online form. Even if the student is already getting support they need, making sure the appropriate staff are aware of the situation shows you care about their holistic wellbeing and making sure they continue to be supported.