Refer a Student

Students, faculty, staff, parents, and others are strongly encouraged to report behaviors they feel are concerning or worrisome.


Why Make a Referral?

Centralized reporting

Our office receives reports from all over campus. What may seem like an insignificant concern to you lets us see a much richer picture of what may be happening for a student. Every piece of information matters and is helpful in providing a greater level of support for the students involved.

Early intervention

We believe in the principles of early intervention and proactive engagement and as such, we prefer to intervene at the earliest and lowest level possible. Earlier interventions preserve a wider range of options for students. Late interventions may result in a more significant impact on a student’s experience and progress towards degree.

Assistance for you

It is helpful to know you aren’t alone in managing a difficult situation. When you make a referral, we are always available to talk through the situation with you and help you determine the best way to proceed. You do not have to manage these situations by yourself.

It is your responsibility

Illinois is a community and we all have a responsibility to care for each other. We all want our students to be healthy and successful. Referring students is one way you can help support the health and success of all Illinois students, and make sure nobody slips through the cracks.


Common Concerning Behaviors

Academic signs

  • Missed, late, or incomplete assignments
  • Inconsistent or deteriorating quality of work
  • Increased tardiness or absences
  • Disorganized work and/or presentation of ideas
  • Repeated requests for extensions
  • Written or verbal expression of morbid, dark, or violent thoughts
  • Disproportionate anxiety about coursework and/or in response to grades

Behavioral signs

  • Exhibits high levels of emotionality, tearfulness, crying
  • Excessively demanding or dependent behavior
  • Nonsensical, incoherent speech
  • Expression of suicidal thoughts
  • Angry outbursts, intimidating or aggressive behavior. Impulsivity.
  • Expressions of worthlessness, hopelessness, despair
  • Unusually animated or withdrawn
  • Unpredictable and/or rapid shifts in mood. Inability to regulate mood/behavior.

Physical signs

  • Deteriorating or poor hygiene, disheveled appearance, soiled clothes
  • Comes to class smelling of alcohol or appearing high
  • Noticeably slowed or rapid speech
  • Appears consistently fatigued and/or falling asleep in class
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Appears confused, disoriented, or out of touch with reality.

Practical Tips for Intervening


  • Talk with the student in a safe, private setting
  • Remain calm and in control
  • Educate yourself about university resources
  • Be supportive
  • Listen effectively
  • Avoid judgments or assumptions
  • Facilitate connection to support
  • Consult with appropriate resources on campus


  • Assuming too much responsibility
  • Invalidating or arguing
  • Embarrassing the student
  • Ignoring negative behavior that has an impact on others

Feel free to refer the student to resources on campus. It is helpful if you have information readily available about the referral–the location and hours are particular useful to students.