When students are distressed, UT professors sometimes intervene

Aisling Ayers

As the Counseling and Mental Health Center says the number of students seeking care for mental health crises continues to rise, professors are sometimes faced with handling students in distress.

Marla Craig, CMHC associate director for clinical services, said anxiety, stress and depression in students tends to rise to the surface because of UT’s competitive atmosphere. The CMHC reported 988 walk-ins from students in crisis during the 2017-2018 school year, said Katy Redd, CMHC associate director of prevention and outreach.

“Once that stress and pressure become too much, that’s when (students) are starting to communicate to faculty,” Craig said. “I don’t care who they’re communicating to, as long as they’re communicating with someone who can then bring them to the counseling center.”

Associate professor Lee Ann Kahlor said she aids a student through a mental health crisis about once a semester.

“One would have to be in denial to not accept that we are in the business of working with people that are in a very difficult transitional time,” Kahlor said. “I think all faculty have at least one student come to them each semester with varying levels of need.”