Help a Student in Need

For a Life-Threatening Emergency
Call 911 and/or Queen's 24-hour Campus Security and Emergency Services at 613-533-6111 

Parents and Supporters – Adjusting to University

Confidentiality of academic, personal, health, and other information about your student is strictly enforced throughout the university. Information can only be shared if your student has given specific written permission.

University is a transition for students, parents and supporters. Adjusting is often easiest when parents and supporters have confidence in their students’ ability to learn and adapt by providing them opportunities to make decisions and manage the outcomes.

  • Stay connected but leave space for your student to develop a support system of their own
  • If your student is phoning or texting a lot and not establishing a social support group on campus, encourage less frequent or shorter contacts. Encourage your student to get involved on campus and/or in the Kingston community
  • As your student becomes more independent, they may develop different views or ways of doing things. To reduce frustration and avoid arguments, consider saying "I'll need to think more about this – let's talk another time." This allows you time to reflect and consider their perspective while keeping the door open to future conversations

  • If your student is feeling overwhelmed after mid-terms, reassure them that they still have time to do well on final exams and assignments
  • Encourage your student to attend workshops and/or book appointments with professional learning strategists Student Academic Success Services (SASS)
  • Students may also find tutoring services, available through each major faculty, helpful to boost their skills and confidence

  • There are many opportunities for students to get involved on campus, such as recreational sports and other physical activities, clubs/groups, hobbies, and volunteer opportunities. These offer students a chance to relax and make positive social connections
  • Some students may want, or depend, on a part-time job while at university. There are many job opportunities on campus that are flexible and recognize the importance of prioritizing academics
  • Many students find 10 hours a week of extracurricular/employment manageable

  • If your student is feeling homesick, you may hear from them when they are upset. Try to call when they are active and engaged, offer encouragement and focus on what is going well
  • Rather than returning home each weekend to be with friends, encourage your student to join a club, go to an event, meet regularly with others, be physically active, or study with a group
  • Encourage your student to seek friends who share similar values and academic goals which may help them consider/reconsider choices around alcohol, drugs, gambling and sexual behaviour
  • If your student is living in Residence, suggest they connect with a Don. These senior students live in residence and can often provide useful strategies to deal with troublesome issues that may come up sharing a living space with others. They may also connect with a professional Residence Life staff member
  • If your student is living off-campus, regular house meetings can help identify and resolve issues. Statements such as "I think (this is happening), I feel (in response to the situation), I wish (a suggested solution)" often keep communication lines open between housemates

Parents and supporters often advocate for their student around mental or physical health concerns, disability issues, or personal challenges.

At Queen’s, the onus will be on the student to manage their care; therefore, please encourage them to connect with Student Wellness Services to find out more about what medical and/or mental health care can be provided.

If your student has a disability and requires accommodations, encourage them to register with Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS).

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Faculty and Staff

Students often deal with stresses and health concerns outside of their academics (e.g. depression, anxiety, financial stress, illness or death of a loved one, or the end of important relationships). Because of their frequent contact with students, staff and faculty can often provide some support and connect students with resources.

Download the Green Folder and/or Green Card

  • Quick reference materials for staff and faculty looking to help support others in distress

Sign up for one of our trainings to learn more about how to support students in distress.

  • Direct or indirect references to suicide or intention to harm or kill another person
  • Talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide
  • Complaints about physical symptoms, including: nausea, stomach aches, headaches, or problems with eating or sleeping
  • Significant changes in academic performance, including: deterioration in quality of work, frequent missed assignments, excessive procrastination, or avoidance of classroom participation
  • Increased class absences or tardiness
  • Listlessness, lack of energy, or falling asleep in class
  • Unusual or bizarre behaviours, including: crying, laughing to self, very rapid speech, disorganized thinking, suspiciousness
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene or dress
  • Changes or disturbances in personal relationships
  • Visible signs of distress and/or low mood
  • Difficulty concentrating, difficulty carrying on normal conversation
  • Social isolation, social withdrawal, or excessive dependency on others
  • Excessive sleeping, internet use/gaming
  • Significant changes in personal, sexual, or cultural identity

  • It's okay to ask – Provided you are coming from a place of concern, you are likely to get a good response. It’s better to be embarrassed about asking than be remorseful about not having asked
  • Pick a good place and time to have the conversation – Seek a quiet, private moment to talk to the student. If the student appears very agitated or if there is a safety concern, it is best to ask a colleague to be present when you meet with the student
  • Say what you see – "I've noticed you have been missing a lot of class lately; is everything okay?" This helps when making assumptions about the student's behaviour or feelings
  • Listen – Give the student your undivided attention and let them talk with minimal interruption. Often just a few minutes of effective listening is enough to help a student feel cared about and more confident about what to do
  • Offer hope – Reassuring the student that things can get better can help them realize they have options and resources and that things will not always seem hopeless
  • Be prepared for the possibility of denial – Students, like the rest of us, are not always ready to talk. If this happens, it means "not now" and that needs to be respected unless you are concerned for their, or someone else’s, immediate safety
  • Trust your instincts – If a student denies that there is a problem, trust yourself. Let them know that you are concerned and that you want to support them if there is an issue
  • Keep the door open – Whenever possible, the student should leave the interaction feeling safe to approach you again in the future
  • Remember your resources – If you are uncomfortable or uncertain after your interaction with a student, you can call Student Wellness Services at 613-533-2506 for advice

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Direct or Indirect Reference to Suicide

Regardless of the circumstances or context, any direct or indirect reference to suicide must be taken seriously. Please contact Student Wellness Services or any after-hours resource if any direct or indirect references to suicide occur such as:

  • Expressed feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Expressed thoughts that the world, family, or friends would be better off without them
  • Expressions of powerful feelings of guilt

Threats and Disruptive Behaviours

In a life-threatening emergency, call 911 and/or Queen's 24-hour Campus Security and Emergency Services at 613-533-6111.

  • Any threat should be taken seriously
  • Contact Campus Security & Emergency Services for advice about what to do; please also speak to your department head, director, or manager 
  • Physical violence causing bodily harm and specific threats must be reported immediately to Campus Security & Emergency Services

Disordered Eating or Excessive Exercise

If a student shares, or you observe, issues with excessive exercise or disruptive eating patterns (e.g., excessive dieting, uncontrolled binge eating, and self-induced vomiting after eating), it is important that professional treatment be accessed as soon as possible.
Contact Student Wellness Services

Drug and Alcohol Misuse

If a student appears to be struggling with substance use, it is important to refer them to mental health services. You can call Student Wellness Services at 613-533-2506 and speak to someone about what else can be done.

In the case of an apparent drug overdose or severe drug reaction on campus, call Campus Security & Emergency Services at 613-533-6111 and ask them to call an ambulance.

You can also call 911 directly. 

Friends and Roommates

Friends and roommates are often one of the first people to recognize when another student is struggling. You can help by providing support and connecting your friend or roommate with 24/7 phone and online resources.   

 Download the Green Folder and/or Green Card

  • Quick reference materials for friends and roommates looking to help support others in distress

Sign-up for one of our trainings to learn more about how to support a friend or roommate in distress.

Supporting others can also have an impact on your health and well-being. Student Wellness Services is here to support you in addition to other supports and resources, on- and off-campus.

  • Direct or indirect references to suicide or intention to harm or kill another person
  • Talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide
  • Complaints about physical symptoms, including: nausea, stomach aches, headaches, or problems with eating or sleeping
  • Significant changes in academic performance, including: deterioration in quality of work, frequent missed assignments, excessive procrastination, or avoidance of classroom participation
  • Increased class absences or tardiness
  • Listlessness, lack of energy, or falling asleep in class
  • Unusual or bizarre behaviours, including: crying, laughing to self, very rapid speech, disorganized thinking, suspiciousness
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene or dress
  • Changes or disturbances in personal relationships
  • Visible signs of distress and/or low mood
  • Difficulty concentrating, difficulty carrying on normal conversation
  • Social isolation, social withdrawal or excessive dependency on others
  • Excessive sleeping, internet use/gaming
  • Significant changes in personal, sexual, or cultural identity

  • It's okay to ask – Provided you are coming from a place of concern, you are likely to get a good response. It’s better to be embarrassed about asking than be remorseful about not having asked
  • Pick a good place and time to have the conversation – Seek a quiet, private moment to talk to your friend or roommate. If they appear very agitated or if there is a safety concern, have someone else with you when you meet
  • Say what you see – "I've noticed that you seem to be less interested in eating these days; is everything okay?" This helps when making assumptions about the person's behaviour or feelings
  • Listen – Give your friend or roommate your undivided attention and let them talk with minimal interruption. Often just a few minutes of effective listening is enough to help them feel cared about and more confident about what to do
  • Offer hope – Reassure them that things can get better. It can help them realize they have options and resources and that things will not always seem hopeless
  • Be prepared for the possibility of denial – Sometimes people are not always ready to talk. If this happens, it means "not now" and that needs to be respected unless you are concerned for their, or someone else’s, immediate safety
  • Trust your instincts – If they deny there is a problem, trust yourself.  Let them know that you are concerned and that you want to support them if there is an issue
  • Keep the door open – Whenever possible, your friend or roommate should leave the interaction feeling safe to approach you again in the future
  • Remember your resources – If you are uncomfortable or uncertain after your interaction with your friend or roommate, you can call Student Wellness Services at 613-533-2506 for advice.

Parents and supporters often advocate for their student around mental or physical health concerns, disability issues, or personal challenges.

At Queen’s, the onus will be on the student to manage their care, therefore, please encourage them to connect with Student Wellness Services. If your student has a disability and requires accommodations, encourage them to register with Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS)

Every student registered with Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) has provided medical or other documentation verifying they are a student with a disability. Academic accommodations approved by QSAS staff are based on this documentation, the student's reported personal experience with their disability, and our screening processes.

Students are not required to disclose private medical information (including their disability or health diagnosis) to, or seek accommodation directly from, their professors, instructors, teaching assistants, etc.

Academic accommodations for reasons of a disability are never intended to give an advantage or to guarantee academic success. Rather, they are intended to provide an equal opportunity for students who need to do certain tasks in a different fashion. Students with disabilities, like all students, are expected to meet the essential requirements of the curriculum, regardless of their need for accommodation.   

Educator Rights and Responsibilities 

Faculty and Staff who are teaching students with disabilities at Queen's have the right to:

  • Determine course content and general methods of teaching
  • Ensure that the standards of the course are not lowered or compromised
  • Ensure that a student has demonstrated mastery of the essential requirements of a course in order to obtain an appropriate grade
  • Make informed decisions about how best to adapt teaching and assessment methods to accommodate all students
  • Fail any student if they do not demonstrate mastery of essential course requirements
  • Question and discuss a specific accommodation
  • Determine, in consultation with Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) staff or other accessibility professionals, the most appropriate way to adapt a course to the needs of a particular student or all students
  • Be treated with respect by all students in the course

Faculty and Staff who are teaching students with disabilities at Queen's have a responsibility to:

  • Recognize the requirement to support the academic accommodation process
  • Make themselves aware of the university's Disability Accommodation Statement and include it in all course syllabi
  • Inform themselves of Queen's services for supporting students with disabilities and refer students as the need arises
  • As requested and required, actively engage in the academic accommodation planning process with students with disabilities and QSAS by defining the essential academic requirements and standards to be considered when developing an academic accommodation plan, and considering a range of possible approaches and reasonable solutions to uphold essential academic requirements and standards
  • Understand that their role is to help implement academic accommodations outlined by QSAS, and not to obtain information about students’ specific disabilities

Faculty Resources on Note-Taking Accommodations

 

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