Help available to those who need it

With the new school term well underway, Brock University’s Student-at-Risk Case Team is reaching out to students, staff and faculty to let them know help is available.

Darryl Veld, Manager, Student Affairs, said the Brock community is urged to let the team know if they identify a student who may be at risk of harm to themselves or others. He said if someone is exhibiting concerning behaviours, reporting is unlikely to get them in trouble.

It’s important for someone who may be at risk to know there is help at Brock, including free personal counselling, Veld said. The team in the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre are located on the fourth floor of the Schmon Tower and can be reached by at 905-688-5550 ext. 3240 or ext. 4750.

He said it’s better to error on the side of caution if someone is potentially at risk.

“Crying wolf is OK. We prefer to sift through the reports that are not a concern than let one fall through the cracks,” he said.

Official records are not kept and the University doesn’t notify professors, other administrators, or other students unless as a last resort.

Veld said attending University can be stressful and during certain times of the year, the pressures can become overwhelming for some. Residence dons, professors and teaching assistants will often be the first people to notice if a student is struggling.

A new protocol is being developed that will remove the current procedures from the Student Code of Conduct as part of a continuing effort to reduce the stigma of mental health.

“We are there to support the student through a difficult time, it is not our goal to be punitive. It is not someone’s fault if they are sick,” Veld said. “We want the students and the Brock community to know supports are available.”

If you think you know of a student-that is at-risk to themselves, contact Campus Security at 905-988-5550 ext. 3200 or Veld at ext. 4041.

Who to call On Campus

– Student Health Services, Harrison Hall: Physicians and Mental Health Nurse, 905-688-5550, ext. 3243

– Personal Counselling, Schmon Tower, 400: Counsellors, 905-688-5550, ext. 3240

– Campus Security, Kenmore Centre: Available 24 hours a day, 905-688-5550, ext. 3200


Who to call Off Campus


– Local Distress Centres

  • Catharines and area 905-688-3711
  • Grimsby 905-563-6674
  • Port Colborne 905-734-1212
  • Fort Erie 905-382-0689

– Niagara Health System Hospital Crisis Care

  • Catharines 905-378-4647 ext. 43230 or ext. 43231
  • Welland ext. 33407
  • Greater Niagara ext. 54919

– Kids Help Line: 20 and under, 800-668-6868

– Good2Talk: Ontario post-secondary help line, 866-925-5454

– Call 911


Examples of common Student-at-Risk identifiers

  • Bullying behaviours focused on students
  • Verbal or non-verbal sings of suicidal thoughts or ideation
  • Direct communicated threat(s)
  • Prolonged non-verbal passive aggressive behaviour such as sitting with arms crossed, glaring or staring at professor
  • Self-injurious behaviour such as cutting
  • Deliberate conversations designed to scare
  • Psychotic, delusional, or rambling speech
  • Objectifying language that depersonalizes the professor or students
  • Threats of online assaults like hacking a website, sharing personal information, or posting pictures without permission
  • Continual spamming via email or otherwise with aggressive or bullying language

Examples of when resources other than the SAR team are appropriate

  • Misuse of technology in the classroom
  • Frequent interruption of professor while talking or asking non relevant questions
  • Inappropriate or overly revealing clothing, or sleepwear
  • Crosstalk or carrying on side conversations while professor is speaking
  • Poor hygiene that leads to disruption
  • Arguing grades after professor requests student to stop
  • Students posts non-relevant spam or unrelated personal advertising material in class forum discussion board
  • Inappropriate or overly revealing pictures
  • Arrogant, entitled, rude, or disrespectful emails or messages

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