Supporting distressed students - VE RMIT
Hi, I'm Luke from the Student Wellbeing team. This video is about how we can support students in distress at RMIT.
At times, it will come to your attention that a student’s not travelling well - they might have opened up to you about their distress, or been acting in ways that you find pretty concerning. As a staff member, there are things you can do within your role to help. Most important of which is to link the student in with the support they need.
The first step is to determine how urgently the student needs assistance.
If you feel that anyone is at risk of immediate harm then you need to call for emergency support. Trust your gut feeling that this is not a safe situation, and contact both emergency services on 000 and RMIT Urgent Security on 9925 3333.
While waiting for support, if it’s safe to do so, consider how you and others can give the student space so as not to escalate the situation further. Speak slowly and calmly, don’t argue with their view of things, simply listen to their concerns until support arrives.
For situations when the student requires assistance, but there is no immediate risk of harm to anyone, it’s best to listen to their concerns. Just having someone to talk to can often be enough for a student to move from a challenging moment to a calmer one. Reassure them that RMIT offers a range of free Support Services for students, and encourage them to seek help. They can get connected themselves through the RMIT Connect, or you can assist them to do so.
There will also be times when a situation’s not quite an emergency, but a student isn’t in a position to seek support for themselves. The concerns you hold for them based on their behaviour or level of distress requires a timely response by the Support Services.
For these moments, you can contact the Staff Line for urgent student support on 9925 1111. The Staff Line will assess the situation, make any immediate referrals to support services that are necessary, and provide you with any further support you need.
When you hear a student’s concerns, act within the boundaries of your role, and draw on the available supports, you go a long way to getting students the assistance they need.
Remember, you play an important role and the RMIT Support Services are here to assist staff and students.
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