How to Help

We work and study in an environment where we strive for excellence and high performance. This environment and other life circumstances and events may contribute to stress. At different times, individuals might become irritable, overwhelmed, anxious, tired, depressed or demoralized and display behaviors of concern. For some individuals such stress may be too much to tolerate without losing control, and results can sometimes be tragic.

Early recognition, intervention, and referral are critical to getting someone help and decreasing risk. Taking action can save a job, an education, a career—or a life. If you find yourself worried or alarmed about an individual who is distressed or troubled you should REPORT this information and consider University and community resources.

For employees, primary supports are provided through FASAP. For students consider a referral to the Counseling Center or to the Department of Student and Community Standards. If an individual’s behavior appears to be an imminent threat to safety, contact the NC State University Police immediately at 919-515-3000.

Simple Guidelines When Helping:

A distressed or troubled person may not know how to ask for help. You can express your concerns in a caring, nonjudgmental way, if possible, in a private place.

  • Do not judge: Remain respectful, calm, and patient.
  • Listen: This is one of the most important skills. Try not to interrupt and let the person share their story.
  • Find out if there are others with whom the distressed person has spoken about the problem and if they have a support system.
  • Express concern: “I am concerned; I am worried about you….”
  • Don’t feel like you need to provide a solution but do offer resources.
  • Do not make promises, especially about confidentiality.
  • Do not dismiss, minimize or rationalize your observations and concerns, thinking someone else will deal with them.
  • REPORT the information per NCSU policy requirements.
Helping Victims of Violence & Stalking:
  • DO listen to and believe the survivor.
  • DO validate survivor’s feelings. Tell the survivor that what happened was not his/her fault, and that (s)he did not deserve it.
  • DO help the survivor find resources in case (s)he wants to report or press charges. Look up NCSU’s sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking policies and the legal protections offered through Title IX and the Clery Act.
  • DO REPORT the incident as a CSA (Campus Security Authority), Responsible Employee, and/or under Title IX obligations.
  • DO help the survivor find NCSU’s victims advocate services through the Women’s Center and/or connect to the NCSU Counseling Center.
  • DO understand your own limits. As much as you want to be there the individual, licensed psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists have the training to offer long-term support. Take care of yourself and your own mental health, and encourage the individual to see a counselor.