Worried about a student? We can help.

The Advocacy & Support team is here for students who are experiencing mental or physical health concerns, extreme personal hardship, or traumatic life events including:

  • Suicidal ideation or attempt
  • Hospitalization for mental health crisis
  • Disturbances on campus or in the classroom
  • Difficulty managing multiple or extreme stressors
  • Unhealthy eating habits/concern for eating disorders
  • Uncharacteristic changes in mood or behavior
  • Showing symptoms of overwhelming distress causing ineffective or unhealthy coping strategies
  • Exhibiting disproportionate emotional responses to situational stressors
  • Marked changes in personal appearance resulting for poor maintenance and hygiene
  • Disruption to academic progress or ability to engage with coursework

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to share these concerns with our team so that we can help engage additional campus and community resources to support the student’s well-being. When uncertain if a referral to Student Advocacy and Support is appropriate, please call (402) 472-0878.

When a student concern is reported, our team conducts a risk assessment to determine if the case should be elevated to the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) or Threat Assessment.

Learn how to help students who are experiencing distress or causing disruption with the Big Red Folder.

How we can help

We provide non-clinical intervention, support, and advocacy for students.

  • Empowerment. We support students in developing skills to advocate for themselves academically and personally.
  • Navigation. We provide a center point of contact to help students navigate campus and community resources, policies, or conflicts.
  • Collaboration. We work closely with faculty and staff to build an effective network of support for students who may be struggling.
  • Coaching. We work with students on the development of appropriate communication and boundaries with university resources, faculty, and staff.
  • Accompaniment. We serve as a support person for students in on-campus meetings and appointments, only at the student’s request.


Absence Notification to Faculty

Students who experience unanticipated hardships or medical emergencies can request that a staff member in the Student Advocacy & Support notify faculty members of an absence.

Routine illnesses or less serious injuries do not warrant an absence notification. Rather, the notifications are justified when students are incapable of providing notice. In such circumstances next-of-kin may make requests on behalf of the student.

Emergency Financial Support

When students experience unanticipated financial pressure, Student Advocacy & Support can provide modest assistance in the form of emergency grants from an endowed account (amounts less than $500), books and school supply vouchers (less than $100) and direction on how to apply for a short-term (2 mo.) interest-free loan of less than $1000.

Medical Withdrawals from the University

Sometimes physical or mental health concerns are so intense that they completely interfere with a student’s ability to perform academically. In such circumstances, Student Advocacy & Support can assist students in understanding and navigating withdrawals for medical reasons. Contact studentadvocacy@unl.edu or (402) 472-0878 to discuss the withdrawal process.

Students should not completely withdraw from the university without first consulting the Office of Student Advocacy & Support or the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.