Whenever possible, begin your engagement with a conversation with the student. If they are familiar to you (i.e., you’ve had previous interactions with them), consider whether their behavior or presentation feels unusual or markedly different from what is typical for them (which could be an indicator of stress or distress).
Remember that it’s important not to ignore your concerns because you feel unsure of what to do. Responding is always the best choice. Doing so might be as simple as demonstrating that you’re available to listen, which can have a significant impact upon a student who is experiencing difficulty.
Also, there is no expectation (nor is it recommended) that faculty members, coaches, non-clinical staff, or student employers engage in “counseling” with the students that they are concerned about. The examples on this page of what to say are simply intended to provide ideas for engagement with the student and clarity for those seeking to help.
When engaging with any student that you have concerns about, utilizing the Recognize, Respond, and Refer approach can provide a path toward getting that student the help they might need.