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Helping Distressed Students at BYU

This website is intended to be a resource guide for members of the BYU community. Information is provided to help recognize and respond to students in distress. It is not unusual for faculty, professional staff, ecclesiastical leaders, family members or friends to be the first to encounter a student who is in distress. Encouraging and helping the student to seek assistance with the appropriate campus and community resources is important.


Student distress may manifest in behavior or in the reaction the behavior elicits in others. If you notice any of the following behaviors, the Distressed Student Protocol will assist you in responding to the student and providing appropriate referrals.

Student Behaviors

Behavioral or emotional change
Change in hygiene or appearance
Decline in academic performance
Excessive or inappropriate anger
Intense medical symptoms (sleep, headaches, GI issues, etc.)
Alcohol or drug abuse
Bizarre thoughts or behavior

Staff / Faculty Reactions to Student’s Behavior

Feeling uncomfortable about student’s comments or behavior
Concern about student’s ability to function
Feeling alarmed or frightened

BYU Counseling & Psychological Services provides mental health services to students and consultation to the university community. The office is open 8am to 5pm, with walk-in or by-phone immediate crisis consultation available between the hours of 10am and 4pm. A clinician will consult about or with a student, develop an action plan and provide referrals to campus departments as needed. After-hours crisis consultation is available for anyone concerned about a distressed student during weekends, evenings or holidays. To contact the on-call counselor after hours, please contact Campus Police (801-422-2222).

If, at any time, there is a potential for danger to self/others or immediate attention is needed, call Campus Police (801-422-2222).

If applicable, you can learn about reporting discrimination and sexual harassment and how the university responds to these reports at