Care Guide for Students in Distress

Care Guide for Students in Distress

Student Assistance Program (SAP):
800-327-2255 (24/7)

For more information visit the
University Health website

Emergencies - Medical and Behavioral:
Call 911 or Campus Police at 901-448-4444

University Health Services
Medical Urgent Care: 901-448-5630
Behavioral Health Urgent Care: 901-448-5630
After Hours (24/7): 901-541-5654

For those administrators with PAVE access (Campus Counts or Judicial Action), go to PAVE to report necessary student information.
Contact: Dr. Michael Alston 901-448-5558 or 901-448-2133
Provided by the UTHSC Wellness Council.

Determine Level of Behavior

Once you have identified a student in distress, determine the level of behavior and use this document to help guide your response. If in doubt, follow procedure for the next higher level.

If you identify a medical, behavioral, or unsafe emergency situation, call 911 or Campus Police at 901-448-4444 immediately.

Level 1 - Mild Distress

Behavior indicating something is wrong and assistance is needed.


  1. Deterioration of work
  2. Excessive absence
  3. Change in pattern of interaction (avoidance of participation, domination of discussion, etc.)

Behavioral and Emotional:

  1. Statements of distress
  2. More withdrawn or animated than usual
  3. Lack of responses to outreach


  1. Decline of appearance, hygiene, and health
  2. Falling asleep in class
  3. Visible changes in weight

Other: Concern about a student by peers,
a gut-level reaction

Speak directly with the student privately and confidentially. Express concern. And/or contact appropriate resource below.

Consultation Resources - Questions about emotional and behavioral issues and getting help, call:

Student Behavioral Health: (901) 448-5064
24-7 Student Assistance Program: (800) 327-2255
University Health Services: (901) 448-5630
SASSI Counselor: (901) 448-5056

AND/OR Administrative/Judicial procedural concerns, call:

Asst. Vice Chancellor Student Rights/ Student
Conduct Officer: (901) 448-5558 or (901) 448-2133

Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Student
Affairs: (901) 448-5070 or (901) 448-8014

Academic and Student Resources
Allied Health Sciences: (901) 448-5581
Dentistry: (901) 448-6268
Graduate Health Sciences:(901) 448-5538
Medicine: (901) 448-5506
Nursing:(901) 448-6125
Pharmacy: (901) 448-6120

Educational Support: Student Academic Support Services (SASS): (901) 448-5056

Level 2 - Significant Distress



  1. Repeated requests for special consideration (extensions/makeup exam)Extreme disorganization
  2. Written or artistic expression of violence, morbidity, isolation, withdrawal, hopelessness, depression, suicide, etc.
  3. Exaggerated or disproportionate response to grades/evaluations

Behavioral and Emotional:

  1. Angry outbursts, yelling, aggressive comments
  2. Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness, crying or tearfulness. Statements are made to the effect that the student is “going away for a long time.”


  1. Noticeable cuts, bruises or burns
  2. Smell of alcohol

Speak directly with the student privately and confidentially.
Express concern and/or contact the appropriate resource.
If safe, set limits for acceptable behavior in situation.

If necessary, ask the student or individual to leave the class or department for the remainder of the period or for a set amount of time.
If necessary, discuss situation with Asst. Vice Chancellor for Student Rights/Student Conduct Officer (901) 448-2133 or (901) 448-5558
OR Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (901) 448-5070 or (901) 448-8014.

Disciplinary Action may include oral or written warning, temporary exclusion from class, suspension, or expulsion. Student must receive written permission in order to be re-admitted to class.

Level 3 - Severe Distress


  1. Highly disruptive behavior (aggression, violence)
  2. Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things, fixed, false beliefs)
  3. Stalking behaviors
  4. Inappropriate communication (including threatening letters, revenge, e-mail messages, harassment)
  5. Overtly suicidal thoughts (including referring to suicide as a current option or in a written assignment
  6. Threats to harm self or others
  7. Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech, disorganized thoughts)

Physically protect yourself and others if possible. Rule out the possibility of harm to self or others.

Contact Campus Police (901) 448-4444 or call 911 if off campus.
Contact resources as appropriate.

Consultation/Intervention Resources

If student is on campus, call CAMPUS POLICE: (901) 448-4444 - If student is off campus, call: 911
THEN Administrative/Judicial procedural concerns, call:
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Rights /Student Conduct Officer: (901)448-5558 or (901) 448-2133
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: (901)448-5070 or (901) 448-8014
AND/OR Student Behavioral Health: (901)448-5064, (901)448-5630
After Hours (901) 541-5654
AND/OR College Deans Office.
Walk the student to University Health Services, 910 Madison, Suite 922.

After Hours Behavioral Health Emergencies

If the student is on campus, call CAMPUS POLICE: (901) 448-4444 - If student is off campus, call: 911
University Health Services On-Call Provider for After Hours: (901) 541-5654

Student Assistance Program (SAP) offers phone counseling for emergencies: 800-327-2255, option 3

Suicide and Crisis Intervention: 901-274-7477
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center: 901-272-2020
Shelby County Crime Victims Center: 901-222-3950
Memphis Area Legal Services: 901-523-8822
Exchange Club Family Center: 901-276-2200

Students in Communities other than Memphis

For ALL students, on or off the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) campus, a University Health Services (UHS) on-call provider is available 24/7 for any urgent issue (medical or behavioral health). The number to call is 901-541-5654. If you are having an emergency, call 911 to access immediate help in your area. To reach a provider at UHS, Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:30, call 901-448-5630. If a student needs to speak to someone regarding any mental health concern, on or off campus, they can call the Student Assistance Program (SAP) at 1-800-327-2255, option 3. This allows face-to-face appointments (or by telephone) with a counselor. There are providers available nation-wide. They can also assist with any emergency.

Non Urgent Care Resources

University Health Services (UHS) The goal of UHS is to create and sustain a healthy campus community supporting the importance of a healthy social and learning environment. Contact UHS regarding medical care, immunizations, travel medicine, and behavioral health.
910 Madison Avenue, Suite 922
Phone: (901) 448-5630

Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) The SASSI has a primary goal of promoting student progress in the various programs offered by the UTHSC. It offers a variety of services to facilitate learning and enhance student performance.
General Education Building, Room BB9 (Basement)
Phone: (901) 448-5056

Campus Recreation Center The mission of Campus Recreation is to plan and promote life-long healthy lifestyle behaviors through active participation in comprehensive recreational, health, and fitness programs.
800 Madison Ave. Room 312. Phone: (901) 448-5069[BROKEN LINK]

One-Stop-Shop The following services are provided to students:
Financial Aid Services, Bursar Services, Registrar Services, and Parking
910 Madison, First Floor Commons Area
Phone: (901) 448-7703

Campus Safety For more information about campus safety, the campus alert system, and crime prevention, access the Campus Police website:

UTHSC Student