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Faculty & Staff Tips for Emergency Situations

Indicators of an Emergency Situation

UTSA Faculty and Staff should seek help (or consultation) immediately if any of these indicators are observed:

  • Expressions of suicidal thoughts
  • Expressions of homicidal thoughts
  • Severe loss of emotional control
  • Gross impairment of thinking ability
  • Bizarre behavior

If you believe a student, staff or faculty member is in immediate danger, please contact UTSA Police at 210-458-4911.

What to Say In An Emergency

Try to remain calm, while expressing your concern for the student.

  • "I am really concerned for you right now."
  • "I am worried about you."
  • "I can see that you are really upset/distressed/anxious right now."

If you are comfortable ask the student some questions to help guide them to the appropriate intervention.

  • "Sometimes when students are under as much stress as you are they have thoughts of wanting to end their life or kill themselves. Are those thoughts you are having?"
  • "What you are experiencing must be really concerning, scary, stressful, overwhelming, Has this happened to you before?"

Offer to connect the student to help or resources

  • "You don’t have to go through this alone. There are people/departments who can help. I would like to get you connected to Counseling Services right now. Let’s give them a call."
  • "I think it is important for me to make sure you are safe. I am going to call UTSA Police or Counseling Services to get some guidance on how to best help you."
  • "I would really like to help you find answers to this problem."

What to Do In Case of An Emergency

  • If the risk of harm to self or others is imminent, or if you feel threatened, please contact UTSA Police at 210-458-4911.
  • Call Counseling Services at 458-4140, Monday through Friday, during business hours. Ask for the COD (clinician of the day) who will be available for a consultation.
  • If the student is agreeable, direct them to our office in theRec Wellness Center (RWC 1.810). . If you are able, walk the student to our office. We will see students in crisis on a walk-in basis.
  • If you are at the Downtown Campus, please contact Counseling Services at the Main Campus for further instruction and guidance.
  • After hours, our crisis helpline is available at 210-458-4140, select option 3. If you are aware of a situation that has the potential to become an emergency , contact the Behavioral Intervention Team.

What to Expect in Emergency Situations

  • Students presenting to Counseling Services, who are experiencing crisis or emergency situations, are professionally assessed for risk to self and others.
  • In most cases, UTSA Counseling Services and/or UTSA Police are able to manage mental health emergencies through talking, de-escalation, stabilization, or other out-patient intervention.
  • If we are unable to help the student generate a plan for safety, it is possible that the student could be referred to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation and stabilization. Counseling Services works with UTSA Police to determine if immediate emergency hospitalization is appropriate.
  • Please note that because of confidentiality, we are unable to disclose to you the outcome of any cases referred to Counseling Services, without the student’s permission.

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