U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

College students at the University of Michigan may experience a great deal of stress during the course of their academic experience. We understand that faculty members, teaching assistants, staff members, parents, or loved ones may encounter distressed students. Your role can be a positive and crucial one in identifying students who are in distress and assisting them to find the resources available to help themselves.

On This Topic

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)

Gain tools to help a student in distress through QPR training. In order to strengthen U-M’s “community of caring,” CAPS researched systematic, college-appropriate programs focused on suicide prevention and chose to proceed with QPR, a community-based, nationally-recognized and empirically-based suicide prevention program. QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer.


Helping a Student in Distress

Students dealing with personal concerns and in distress typically show some outward signs that they are struggling in some way.  All of us experience life’s “ups and down,” but significant distress experienced over a period of time may suggest a more serious problem.   There are different levels of distress and these can be represented through a continuum.

photo of student looking out of window

Making A Referral To CAPS

A referral to CAPS should be considered when you believe a student's problems go beyond your own experience and expertise, or when you feel uncomfortable helping a student with some issue. A referral may be made either because of the way the student's problems are interfering with their academic work or with your teaching, or because observation of the student's personal behavior raises concerns apart from his or her academic work.


Parents and Loved Ones

As students enter into the exciting yet challenging times of the university years, families and students must navigate a variety of transitions.  It is normal for students to experience anxiety as they make adjustments to university life and the many changes they are experiencing.   The staff at CAPS are available to help students have a successful and growth promoting experience at the University of Michigan.


Responding To A Student Death

The CAPS office houses a Crisis Response Team that focuses on the mental health needs of students and offers guidance to staff and faculty in times of crisis or trauma. The multi-disciplinary team approach to campus responses is based on Critical Incident Stress Management theory, best-practice standards, and experience. Interventions are tailored to meet the needs of students.


Tips for New U of M Parents

Congratulations! Your daughter or son is now a University of Michigan student. This developmental period of young adulthood will be a significant transition time both for your student and for you as parents.