Warning signs to look out for

Mental health problems can often be far less serious and damaging if identified early.  Mental health issues are wide-ranging and the signs and symptoms may vary from person to person.

Below are a number of signs which might indicate that a student is experiencing some form of emotional distress.


Academic signs:

  • Absence from tutorials, lectures or persistent failure to attend scheduled meetings, with or without prior or post explanation
  • A sudden and/or significant drop in assessment grades
  • Repeated requests for extensions
  • Failure to respond to communications i.e. emails/texts/letters regarding academic engagements, registration or financial demands


Emotional signs:

The student appears:

  • Anxious, tense, sad, tearful, angry or agitated
  • Withdrawn and/or spending a considerable amount of time alone, when this is not their usual behaviour
  • Distracted or preoccupied
  • Lethargic, low mood and/or lacking motivation
  • Excessively suspicious
  • Any other behaviour that seems ‘out of character’


Physical signs:

  • Speech sounds flat, agitated, excessively loud or quiet
  • Deterioration in personal appearance and/or personal hygiene
  • Friends of the student or other staff tell you something that may indicate a problem
  • Significant weight loss or gain