International Studies & Programs

Supporting Student Mental Health

Studying abroad is an exciting but sometimes stressful experience for students. Use these tips to support student mental well-being on your study abroad program.


Tips for Interaction with Students

  • Focus on pre-departure community and relationship building.
  • Be mindful of student privacy.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Demonstrate concern and interest.
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
  • Do not ask too many questions.
  • Resist the urge to diagnose or label.
  • Suggest a counselor as a resource for students in distress. GeoBlue and the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) can help identify local mental health resources.
  • If you are worried about a student's mental well-being contact OIHS to discuss your concerns. If it is urgent, call the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Line at +1-517-353-3784.

Recognizing Students in Distress

Yellow flags

  • What it may look like: verbal acknowledgement of stress or behavioral indicators of stress.
  • What you should do: allow agency, explore, support, problem solve.
  • Remember: There are resources available to you and the student that may be beneficial.

Red flags

  • What it may look like: not attending class, not completing responsibilities, isolation, thoughts of suicide.
  • What you should do: call the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Line. Together we'll focus on immediate solutions, assess, support, and problem solving.
  • Remember: Stay calm and don't leave the student alone. In a crisis, ask simple and direct questions. If you are concerned a student may be a danger to themselves, seek emergency assistance.

Mental Health Resources

GeoBlue (formerly HTH Worldwide)
+1-610-254-8771 (24/7)

MSU Counseling Center - Faculty/Staff Information

National Suicide Prevention 24/7 Line
1-800-273-TALK (8255)