DukeReach: Supporting Students in Distress

Guest post by David Wiltshire, DukeReach Student Support Coordinator.

If you’re a faculty or staff member who mentors students, you’ve probably observed concerning behavior that left you with questions about how to respond. Perhaps a student has stopped coming to class or work and won’t respond to your emails or outreach. Perhaps she has become distant, irritable, lethargic, or unreliable, and her grades have dropped, and you have a “gut feeling” that something is wrong, but she insists that she is fine. Perhaps his personal hygiene has changed dramatically over the break, and you are worried for his health, but he ignores offers of support. As a faculty or staff member, you may be hoping to connect with someone who works with these concerns regularly and can offer feedback and follow-up.

Puppy with DukeReach toyThe next time you’re in that situation, call DukeReach. DukeReach, one of the Health and Wellness Units in the Student Wellness Center, supports students in distress across the university with resource support and care coordination to help students get back to a place of thriving. DukeReach receives reports of concern from faculty, staff, friends, parents, and others and follows up to support the student’s well-being with a wide variety of resources, including for mental health, physical health, academics, substance use, social/adjustment issues, family difficulties, and harassment or relationship violence. Students also reach out to DukeReach directly to request care coordination services. DukeReach staff coordinate with support providers from across the university and community to make sure that students get the support they need.

Contact DukeReach at (919) 681-2455, dukereach@duke.edu, or studentaffairs.duke.edu/dukereach. After-hours urgent concerns for a student’s behavior or well-being can be directed to the Student Affairs Dean on-Call, (919) 970-4169 (pager). Feel free to reach out at any time with questions or concerns – we’re here to help.