It's important that as a part of the UNT community, we all know the signs to get help for a classmate, roommate, child, student, co-worker, or friend in crisis. Speak out and reach out to them.

There are three levels of distress, which over a period of time, could suggest that someone is going through a difficult time in their life.

Learn these signs to help someone in distress:

Level 1

  • Changes in academic or work performance
  • Significant drop in examination scores
  • Changes in pattern of social interaction
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Problems concentrating, remembering things, or making decision

Level 2

  • Repeated requests for special consideration
  • New or regularly occurring behavior that pushes the limits and may interfere with class and/or work
  • Disruptive behavior to other students, faculty, or staff
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses
  • Persistent sadness or unexplained crying
  • High levels of irritability or inappropriate excitement

Level 3

  • Highly disturbed behavior
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Inability to communicate clearly
  • Irrational conversation or speech that seems disconnected
  • Loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing things that are not there, beliefs or actions at odds with reality)
  • Suspiciousness or irrational feelings of persecution
  • Statements related to death or dying or feelings of hopelessness
  • Threats of harming self or harming other

What can you do to help someone in need?

  • Listen
  • Show you care
  • Don't judge
  • Trust your instincts about their safety
  • Don't leave the person alone if they are in a crisis situation
  • Speak out - tell someone who can help them (e.g., Residence Hall staff, professor, mental health or medical provider, family member/guardian/parent)
  • Seek appropriate support (e.g., crisis intervention, counseling) for the person


When in doubt, reach out to any of the UNT or Denton resources for assistance. Speaking out can help save lives.


UNT offers suicide prevention training using evidence-based training models to faculty, staff, and students at UNT. Complete the Counseling and Testing Services Training/Presentation Request ( form to request suicide prevention training. You can also email us at for more information about the suicide prevention training opportunities being offered to our UNT community.