Responding to a Student in Distress

As TAs have regular contact with undergraduate students, they may need to identify and respond to students in distress and/or in crisis. 

The Green Folder

The 2023 Student Affairs Green Folder resource provides faculty and staff with up-to-date information to help them identify and respond to students in distress.

Identifying and Responding to Students in Distress Training

Student Wellness Services regularly offers an hour-long training for students, staff, and faculty to help them recognize when someone is struggling with their mental health and may need support. 

The next session is scheduled for March 27, 2024. More information can be found here: Wellness Groups, Events & Trainings.

The content of this training is also available in a self-directed module: Identifying and Responding to Someone in Distress by Queen’s Student Wellness Services

Teaching in Times of Crisis 

Teaching assistants may also find it helpful to familiarize themselves with the Teaching in Times of Crisis resource for faculty provided by the Centre for Teaching and Learning. This resource considers the many impacts that times of crisis (whether local, national, or international in scope) can have on university classrooms, students, and educators, and it provides recommendations for educators’ responses to crisis. 

Support Services for Students

The following resources have been compiled by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences here.

Student Health and Wellbeing
  1. Students in Ontario can call 613-533-2506 from 8 am- 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, to schedule an appointment with the counselling team at Student Wellness Services (SWS) or drop in to SWS’s weekday afternoon mental health clinic (1-4 pm).   
  2. 24/7, students can call Good2Talk, at 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868, or contact crisis support and counselling through Empower Me.
  3. Cultural Supports are available including Queen’s Cross-Cultural Counsellor.
  4. Faith and Spiritual Life offers multi-faith, non-judgmental support at  
  5. The Queen’s University International Centre holds drop-in in-person or virtual advising, Monday to Thursday, 10-11am and 2-3 pm, either email or book an appointment through the QUIC website.
  6. The Yellow House Student Centre for Equity and Inclusion is comfortable and accountable spaces and resources for queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and/or People of Colour (QTBIPoC)-identifying students.
Safety Support

Safety on campus is a priority for the university, and everything possible is being done to ensure the safety of our community. The university is closely monitoring any threats to the safety of its students, staff and faculty and Campus Security is on heightened alert.

  1. The Principal and the leadership team will put in place any precautions and protections necessary to keep our community safe. If you have any concerns about your physical safety, contact Campus Security or local police immediately.
  2. Anyone on campus can also utilize the Blue Light Emergency Phones located throughout all Kingston campus locations, or contact the campus Emergency Response Centre, at 613-533-6111.
  3. The campus has supports for personal safety, including AMS Walkhome, Safe Walk or the Lone Worker Program if working alone at night (Campus Security, 613-533-6080).
  4. Students, faculty, and employees are encouraged to download and use the SeQure App. SeQure provides a quick way to contact emergency services and other supports. By activating the push notifications in the app, users can proactively receive emergency/safety notifications.
  5. Any campus community member who experiences or witnesses any hate-motivated act is encouraged to report it and/or connect with the Human Rights and Equity office for support.
Academic Advising

If students are dealing with unexpected extenuating circumstances that are impacting their studies, there are options available to provide you with some flexibility and relief. Students should be referred to the SKHS Undergraduate Academic Advisor or the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to discuss these options.