You are now in the main content area

Encountering Concerning Behaviour on Campus

student on campus wearing a mask

Consider Safety

  • Any reference to ending one’s life or threat of violence must be taken seriously
  • Call 911 if suicide/harm is already in progress or if there is imminent safety risks to the individual or community
  • If you are unsure about the level of safety/risk, call security (416-979-5040) after hours and on weekends, or contact Good2Talk (external link) . Students can access private support in 100+ languages by calling 1-866-925-5454 or by text “GOOD2TALKON” to 686868.
  • Contact the Centre for Student Development and Counselling ( weekdays between 9 AM-4:45 PM.

Refer when it’s FAIR

Refer out if/and when these 4 conditions apply. They are signals that more support is needed.

  • FEAR… if you feel afraid of or for the community member 
  • ANGER… if you feel angry - take a step back 
  • IGNORANCE… if you don’t know what more you can do for the person
  • RESPONSIBILITY and RESENTMENT… if you find that you begin to resent the responsibility you have assumed for the person

Emphasize key points:

  • State what you notice 
  • State the concern/reason 
  • Offer a resource 
    • Always be empathic and non-judgmental. 
    • Provide the person with tools to develop their own network of support

Setting boundaries and referring in concerning situations

  • Sometimes we get into situations that are outside of our expertise and we may feel the person needs more support than you can provide. It is ok to own that and recognize it. It is in the best interest of the individual involved.
  • In this instance, it is important that we provide the individual the opportunity to get the appropriate support – either from a family member, GP, or it could be a counsellor or a support staff on campus.
  • What to say if you are concerned: “What I hear you describing is outside of my scope/expertise and I want to ensure you get the support you are looking for. Here are some resources/phone numbers/I will stay on the call with you while you connect...”
  • What to say to someone when you are worried for their safety: “I’m worried about your safety and I will be calling one of these resources to get you connected with support.”   

Setting boundaries and referring in urgent situations

  • What to say of when you think the situation is urgent or that the person needs immediate help: “You seem to be very upset and I am concerned about you and want to ensure you get some help. Can I make a call to one of the resources on your behalf or would you like to call?” 
  • Notice the difference in urgent situations is that someone is calling before the interaction is over.
Girl texting on her mobile phone