Capacity to Connect Scenario

Part 1:

You’ve been offering online synchronous sessions for your students. You notice that a young student had been participating quite a lot at the beginning of the semester and seemed quite keen, but partway through the semester her participation wanes and she seems quiet, then she stops showing up altogether. You email her to check in with how hwer coursework is going and you receive this response: “’m so so sorry I haven’t been making it to the sessions. I don’t really know… I’m just not doing well. I’m trying but I feel like I keep failing and it makes me feel like giving up. Thanks for your email, I liked the course.”

Part 2:

You email the student to express concern and offer to talk with her. You receive a long rambling reply sent at 2am including: “I just don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Nothing in my life makes sense. Doing school is pointless when I won’t be able to find a job. I can’t live like this any longer”.

Questions for Reflection

Reminder: There are no right or wrong answers!
• How would you feel?
• What signs of distress do you recognize?
• What changes in the student’s behaviour might be alarming to you?
• How might you respond? How is this different from your imagined response prior to this workshop?
• Are there any warning signs of suicide that you notice?
• Could you imagine asking about suicide or do you have a clear limit for yourself and know that you would not?
• What resources/support services might you refer to?
• Who might you consult with?
• Would you need support for yourself? Who would you reach out to?
Thank you for your thoughtful participation!