Distressed Students

Counseling Services

Creighton University
Harper 1034, Ground floor
Omaha, Nebraska 68178
Phone: (402) 280-2735

8:00-4:30 Monday
10:00-6:30 Tuesday
8:00-6:30 Wednesday
8:00-4:30 Thursday - Friday

Summer Hours

8:00-4:30 Monday - Friday

Distressed Students

While at Creighton University, students will be faced with a great many personal, academic, and social stressors. Most will successfully navigate these challenges, while others may experience them as overwhelming and unmanageable. As a result, students may feel fearful, isolated, helpless, and alone. This distress can negatively impact a student's academic performance, and lead to disruptive behaviors such as acting out, alcohol/drug abuse, and suicide attempts.

Consultation is Available

While this web page is designed to help you with assisting a distressed student, please remember that the staff at the Counseling Services is available to consult with you about whether and how to intervene with your student. We can help you assess the seriousness of the situation, discuss possible resources on and off campus, learn how to make a referral, and plan for follow-up. Please feel free to call us at (402) 280-2735 to consult with one of our staff.

Signs of Possible Distress

At one time or another, we all experience some degree of distress. However, when some of the following are present, your student may be experiencing significant distress that could interfere with his or her personal and academic functioning:

  • Uncharacteristic decline in academic performance
  • Increased absences or tardiness from class
  • Failure to complete assignments
  • Persistent appearance of depression (e.g., sad mood, loss of interest, tearfulness, weight loss, withdrawal)
  • Anxiety, nervousness, panic attacks, agitation, irritability, non-stop talking
  • Aggressiveness, acting out, emotional outbursts
  • Significant change in personal hygiene, dress, appearance
  • Bizarre behavior, speech, or mannerisms
  • Talk of death or suicide, either directly or indirectly (e.g., "It doesn't matter, I won't be around for the final exam." or "I'm not worried about finding a job, I won't need one.")
  • Homicidal threats, either verbal or in written statements

It is important to remember that just because a student appears to be experiencing one of these signs it does not necessarily mean that he or she is in significant distress. Many of the above situations are short lasting. However, if a student's distress appears to be severe, or you notice one or more of these signs over a prolonged period of time, then it may be necessary to intervene. If you have doubts or concerns about the seriousness of your student's problems, please consult with one of the staff members at Counseling Services.