City College of San Francisco values and prioritizes well-being. Faculty and staff have a tremendous impact on student well-being. This is an especially trying time for us all, and we know that student distress is elevated by the pandemic. Please review the sections below to get a sense of what student communities are experiencing, and how we can best support them.
How do I let students know that I care about them and that they can talk to me?
Tell them right from the start. Take time during your first interaction with students to acknowledge this strange and difficult time we are in, and that you know they are struggling with all these new challenges. Tell them you care about their well-being, and that you want them to get the support they need. Make sure to highlight that you are a source of support for them, and how they can connect with you if they need it.
Immediate Help Options
If they are in distress, the student doesn't need to be experiencing suicidal thoughts to have someone to talk or text with immediately.
- San Francisco Suicide Prevention Hotline:
- California Peer-Run Warm Line:
- Veterans Crisis Line
(800) 273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255
- Crisis Text Line-24/7 Confidential Support:
Text HELLO to 741741
- To Set Up a Drop-in Mental Health Appointment: Westside Community Crisis: (415) 355-0311. Phone line and in-person drop-in services: M-F:7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Address: 245 11th Street, San Francisco
What you can say
This is not a script, but rather an examples of what you might say in a conversation with a student. It is important that you use language that feels natural to you and fits the context of your interaction with the student.
Say what you see:
"Hi _____, I just wanted to check-in. I've noticed _____, and wanted to see if you want to talk about it.”
“I’ve noticed _____ and I want you to know that I am here to support you.”
Show you care:
"I care about your well-being, so I just wanted to check in to see how you're doing. I want to know how I can be the most helpful for you."
“Thanks for taking some time to talk with me. I wanted to have this conversation because I care about how you’re doing and want you to know that I’m here to support you in the ways you need.”
Hear them out:
Focus on listening. If questions are helpful:
"Wow, I'd like to hear more about that.”
“I’m sorry, that seems like a difficult situation to be in, what is that like for you?”
Connect to help:
“Thank you for being so open with me. I want to continue this conversation, and I also want to make sure that you’re getting the help you need. I really think you may find ______ to be a very helpful and
comforting resource.” “Reaching out to ______ for the first time can be a little confusing. Would you like help to connect to ______ ?”
“I really think ________ can address some of your needs, but sometimes it takes several tries to find a place that is the best fit. For any reason, if it doesn’t feel like a match, then ask what other resources may be a better fit for your needs.”
Tip: Offering the name of someone from the resource can help the student to feel more comfortable when they reach out.
Content has been adapted from the Stanford Red Folder Program