The Stanford Red Folder is a resource designed to help faculty & staff navigate conversations with students about well-being. The Red Folder also includes an extensive list of campus resources and information on how to appropriately connect students to them.
Are you seeking resources to help a student in distress and unsure where to turn? Residence deans and Graduate Life Office deans are available 24/7 to consult with Stanford faculty and staff who are concerned about a student's well-being. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is available during regular business hours to consult with Stanford community members who are concerned about the well-being of postdoc trainees.
To request copies of the red folder or to offer feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be direct. Let the student know that you've noticed a change and you want to talk. Say what you've noticed, and avoid making any judgement or assumptions. Start this conversation in a setting where the student will feel safe to be open and honest with you. Follow-up with a Residence Dean (for undergrads), Graduate Life Office Dean (for graduate and professional students), or the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (for postdoc trainees) if you still have concerns.
Be warm. We all need to know others care about us. Showing you care about a student's well-being can have a positive impact on their mental well-being, and increase the likelihood they seek help if needed.
Build trust. Ask what they need. The kind of support a student needs will change based on the context, and the only way to know what they need from you is to ask. Everything you do can signal to students that you care about them and that you're a safe person to reach out to.
Be there to listen. Your priority is to provide a space for the student to speak and be heard. They need you to be warm, compassionate and fully present. Listen patiently as you try to understand where they're coming from and take time to affirm their feelings. This is about them, not you.
Be curious. As an active listener, ask follow-up and open-ended questions that might help you understand the student, and ensure they feel heard. Most importantly, listen and let them speak.
Share carefully. Most of the time it's not helpful to share your experiences. Your role is to listen and learn so you can connect the student to resources. Sometimes, however, it can be helpful for a student to hear about your experiences with your own well-being or interactions you've had with mental well-being resources.
Determine need. Does the student need resources for social connection, specialized professional help, or is this an emergency?
Reaffirm your connection. Sometimes communicating to a student that they may benefit from professional help can feel like they are being passed off as a problem or burden. Prevent this by explicitly affirming your connection with them. Again, show you care.
Help them connect to resources. Students in distress may need help connecting with a resource. Showing them how to access the resource increases the likelihood that they actually do.
Follow-up. If possible, reconnect with the student to make sure that they successfully connected with the resources that you suggested.
The student is showing signs of distress. This is not an emergency, but I'm definitely concerned about them and want to get them more help soon.
Dean of Students Contact at (650) 723-2733 to access any of the following resources for non-urgent matters:
Department of Public Safety (DPS) endeavours to be a consultative resource for all members of the community and can be reached 24/7 at (650) 329-2413.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers individual consults, skills workshops, process groups, seminars, psychiatry services, community referral resources, and crisis intervention. Reach CAPS at (650) 723-3785. CR
Confidential Support Team (CST) offers support to Stanford students impacted by sexual assault and relationship violence. Contact CST at (650) 736-6933 or 24/7 (for urgent concerns) at (650) 725-9955. CR
Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE) aims to reduce high-risk alcohol and other drug use and related harms by enriching the social experience and providing collaborative, educational strategies and programs. Contact at (650) 725-5947.
Well-Being at Stanford advances student well-being through individual coaching, academic courses, consultations, trainings and workshops, and volunteer, internship and funding opportunities. Contact at wellbeing.stanford.edu.
Office of the Ombuds is available to all faculty, staff, postdocs, and students where all are welcome to discuss any concern that is interfering with their academic or work life. Contact Ombuds at (650) 497-1542 or email@example.com CR
Office for Religious Life (ORL) offers pastoral care and spiritual guidance and can be reached at (650) 723-1762. CR
The Bridge Peer Counseling Center (The Bridge) offers anonymous peer counseling by trained students and can be reached at (650) 723-3392.
Office of Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse Education & Response (SARA) promotes caring, empowered, and consensual relationships at Stanford. Contact SARA at (650) 725-1056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Accessible Education (OAE) provides a wide array of support services, accommodations, and programs to remove barriers to full participation in the life of the University. Contact OAE at (650) 723-1066 or email@example.com.
Schwab Learning Center helps students with learner variability understand how they learn and how to leverage their strengths. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Aid Office (FAO) Contact at (650) 723-3058 or email@example.com.
Academic Advising Resources:
The student's behavior is dangerous or threatening to themselves and others.
FOR ALL EMERGENCY SITUATIONS: Call 911 (9-911 from a university phone).
Urgent Consultation Resources:
RD on-call Available to help undergraduates 24/7 at (650) 504-8022.
GLO Dean on-call Available to help graduate and professional students 24/7 at (650) 723-7288. Provide pager ID number #25085 to the operator.
CAPS on-call Available for all students 24/7 at (650) 723-3785. CR
Confidential Support Team (CST) Available for all students impacted by sexual assault and relationship violence 24/7 at (650) 725-9955. CR
Vaden Medical Services Available for all students 24/7 at (650) 498-2336. CR
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress at (800) 273-8255. CR
Privacy and information sharing.
Professionals affiliated with Confidential Resources (CR) will gladly receive information from you about a student's well-being, but, due to FERPA, HIPAA, or professional ethics, some resources, licensed healthcare providers in particular, are often unable to provide reciprocal information to you regarding the student. This can be frustrating but is an essential ethical and legal safeguard for student privacy and confidentiality.
Campus Security Authority and Mandated Reporter regulations may also apply to many or all of the resources listed in this guide.
When in doubt about a student's well-being, consider these options:
- RD on-call (undergraduates) (650) 504-8022
- GLO Dean on-call (graduate and professional students) 650) 723-7288, pager ID 25085
- Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (postdoc trainees) (650) 725-5075
This is not a script, but rather examples of what you might say in a conversation with a student. It is important that you use language that feels natural to you and fits the context of your interaction with the student.