Midshipmen Development Center
How to Help
How to provide assistance to a mildly/moderately troubled student
For these behaviors or problems you can choose to handle them in the following ways:
- Deal directly with the behavior/problem according to classroom or Company protocol.
- Address the situation on a more personal level.
- Consult with a colleague
- Refer the student to the MDC or BN Chaplain
Guidelines for talking with a student in distress
If a student wants to talk:
- Accept and respect what is said.
- Help determine what needs to be done or changed.
- Try to focus on an aspect of the problem that is manageable.
- Avoid giving advice, judging, evaluating, and criticizing.
- Avoid easy answers such as, "Everything will be all right."
- Help identify resources needed to improve things.
- Help the person recall constructive methods used in the past to cope; get the person to agree to do something constructive to change things.
- Offer yourself as a caring person until professional assistance has been obtained.
- Trust your insight and reactions.
- Let others know your concerns.
- Attempt to address the person's needs and seek appropriate resources.
- Avoid contributing unnecessarily to the person's guilt or sense of failure.
- Do not swear secrecy or offer confidentiality to the person.
- Encourage the person to seek help.
- When called for, let the person know you are worried about their safety.
- If you are concerned the student may be feeling hopeless and thinking about ending their life, ask if she/he is contemplating suicide. It is important to remember that talking about suicide is a cry for help and is not to be ignored.
- Dispel myths about seeking help, such as "I will be seen as weak" or "It will ruin my military career."
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