Recognizing Mental Health Issues When Advising - NAFSA

Recognizing Mental Health Issues When Advising - NAFSA

Recognizing Mental Health Issues When Advising International Students NAFSA Region XII Nevada State Conference April 15, 2016 By Luis Ortega and Chery...

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Recognizing Mental Health Issues When Advising International Students NAFSA Region XII Nevada State Conference April 15, 2016 By Luis Ortega and Cheryl Woehr

International Student Adjustments  New Place & Culture

 Educational System

 Travel (jetlag)

 Academic Environment

 Time

 Homesickness

 New People

 Financial Problems

 Communication

 Maintaining Status

 Lack of support system

Pennsylvania State University Statistics Psychological Symptoms/Concerns, N=198 % of students who indicated experiencing Symptoms Academics Career Stress Loneliness Family Eating Sleep Interpersonal/Relationships Depression Anxiety Couple and Marital Problems Roommate Sexual orientation

71 60 43 28 23 22 21 20 18 16 15 10 6

Recognizing the Symptoms of Cultural Adjustment Difficulties  Anxiety  Depression  Fatigue  Feelings of Vulnerability  Breakdown of Relationships (friends, family)

Depression Myths Quiz  If you think someone is depressed, the best way to help them is to try to cheer them up. False

 When life is rough, that’s when depression kicks in. False

 Sadness and depression are different. True  Depression affects your mood but not the rest of your body. False

 Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much is a symptom of depression. True

 Most people can just “snap out” of a depression. False Sources:

What is Depression? 

Common Symptoms of Depression  Persistent Sadness (lasting 2 weeks or longer)  Fear of being alone in the world  Feeling low energy  Excessive worrying  Feeling worthless or helpless

 Weight changes  Increase in Irritability, Aggression or Anger  Increase in Alcohol Consumption and/or Reckless Behavior  Thoughts That Your Life is not Worth Living

Common Symptoms of Depression  Difficulty Sleeping or Sleeping Too Much  Difficulty Concentrating  Loss of Interest in Daily Activities  Overwhelming and Uncontrollable Negative Thoughts

 Loss of Appetite or Significant Increase in Appetite

 Unexplained aches and pains

Risk Factors for Suicidal Behavior  Substance abuse  Previous attempt  Mental illness  Isolation  Cultural values

 History of suicide (attempts/family history)

Show That You Care  Be a good listener  Use listening techniques: • Paraphrasing • Clarifying • Summarizing  When should you ask the question? • You seem unhappy. Is there something you want to talk about? • Are you thinking about giving up? • Are you thinking about hurting or killing yourself?

Things to Avoid  Offering simple solutions  Telling the student they have everything to live for

 Acting shocked  Assuming the person isn’t the “suicidal type”

 Minimizing their feelings or the situation  Telling them how they should feel Don’t leave the person alone until you can arrange immediate or long-term support

Remember to:  Take any suicide threat seriously  Be direct: ask the person if they are contemplating suicide

 Assure the person that you care & want to help  Explain that you need to get additional help  Be willing to listen & avoid being judgmental  Offer hope  Refer to the appropriate resource

The Suicide Intervention Model (SIM) Phase 1: Connect to the person  Explore invitation for help  Is suicide an issue  Relief of being able to talk about suicide Phase 2: Understanding  Explore reasons for suicidal thoughts  Listen to reasons  The individual just wants to be understood  Important for the individual to be heard  What is their risk level Phase 3: Assisting

    

Create a plan to keep the student safe plan Follow up with commitments Help the individual to disable the plan Commit to an intervention Agree to have a contract in place

What Is Your Responsibility Vs Legal Responsibly?  Knowing when to refer  Who to refer to Legal 2000: Involuntary Hold Involuntary Treatment 72 hour hold

Case Scenario #1  You have received a progress report on Yuki who stopped attending classes after the 3rd week of classes last semester and is starting to repeat the same behavior this semester. Upon your request she meets with you and says that she just hasn’t felt like going to class, is unsure about her major. This is the 2nd semester this behavior has occurred.

 How do you proceed with the conversation?

Case Scenario #2  Kengo is not attending classes and meets with you. After some exploration he admits he is not eating much, has lost weight, doesn’t leave his apartment much and doesn’t call his friends. This is his 4th semester at CSN and he has a gpa of 2.1

 How do you proceed with the conversation?

Resources  1-877-885-HOPE (4673)  1-800-273-TALK (8255)