Scanlan Center for School Mental Health
professor in classroom

Working with Students in Distress Workshop

In-Person Iowa City, Iowa
Higher Education


Barry A. Schreier
Barry Schreier, Ph.D.
Director of Higher Education Programming
Scanlan Center for School Mental Health
Clinical Professor of Counseling Psychology
University of Iowa College of Education

Event Details

A Scanlan Center for School Mental Health workshop for college/university faculty and staff

You are in your office, thinking about an interaction with a student that leaves you troubled. Many things are running through your mind. Is this a big deal? Should I call someone about this? Can I help this student myself? Should I even get involved?

For many students, personal matters affect academic performance, and so such interactions are significant and can be a reason to be involved. But these are complicated issues, in complicated times, and getting involved can feel intimidating, resulting in staff and faculty stress.

Students struggle with anxiety, depression, general emotional upset, thoughts of self-harm, physical illnesses, family problems, financial pressures, and others. And having minoritized identities tends to exacerbate these struggles. This can then leave students distressed and seeking your help.

Learning Outcomes

This workshop helps staff and faculty respond to students in distress. Faculty and staff will learn:

  • language and practical skills to help navigate challenging interactions
  • signs of what distress looks like
  • how to gauge student emotionality
  • ideas of what to do and what not to do
  • simple language to assist with having the confidence to act when students struggle

Your response may be a conversation or a phone call to one of the many offices and people who work with distressed students every day. You are never alone! There are partners to support you in helping students find campus mental health and well-being resources.

Additional Details

Workshop length: 75 minutes

Format: In-person (preferred), hybrid, or virtual

Interested in hosting a workshop for your faculty/staff? Submit an interest form, and our team will be in touch soon.

Want to promote the workshop to your faculty/staff?