Office of Student Life

Distressed Student Referral Guide

Supporting yourself, a friend, or another community member in crisis can be challenging. There are several resources on campus to help. Sometimes a crisis situation is obvious; at other times, it takes a careful eye to identify. If you notice any of the following behaviors, use the UCSB Distressed Students Response Protocol to connect with critical campus and community resources.

Individual Behaviors

  • Behavioral or emotional change
  • Withdrawal
  • Change in hygiene or appearance
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Excessive or inappropriate anger
  • Bizarre thoughts or behavior

Responses to Individual Behavior

A friend, roommate, or other community member might respond with:

  • Feeling alarmed or frightened
  • Feeling uncomfortable about student's comments or behavior
  • Concern about student's ability to function


If you feel unsafe and/or a situation requires immediate attention, call the Police first.

UCSB Campus: 805-893-3446     Isla Vista: 805-681-4179

Referring Students in Distress

  • If there is danger to self or others OR the student needs immediate attention.
  • If there is NOT danger to self or others OR you're not sure but you're concerned.
    • Call Student Mental Health Coordination Services at 805-893-3030 or submit an online referral to their office. Or call Campus Social Work Services (Student Health Service) at 805-893-3087. (Note: These offices are open only during business hours, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, except holidays.)
    • On weekends, evenings, and holidays, contact UCSB After-Hours Phone Counseling at 805-893-4411.
  • If you feel confident that there is NOT danger to self or others, but the student is having academic or personal issues, refer them to relevant campus support services