Red Folder an opportunity to help students

By Daniel Flores

The Red Folder, an informational guide given to faculty and staff to help them assist students dealing with various problems, is now being used on campus.

The slogan is “See something, say something, do something.”

The Red Folder was given to all public colleges in California and lays out what a person should do if he or she sees someone having problems.

“The initiative was started a couple of years ago,” said Debbie Jackley, Student Health and Counseling Services coordinator. “Teachers are given a paper to remind themselves and others of the signs and how to act. Cal State San Bernardino made an app so that you could have it on your phone.”

The Red Folder starts off with the response protocol. On the response protocol page, there are two sections: situation and contact.

Each situation and contact are color coded red, yellow or green. The red section is considered a “danger zone.” In other words, “the student’s conduct is clearly and imminently reckless, disorderly, dangerous or threatening, including self-harm behavior.”

The solution according to the Red Folder would be to call 911 or campus police.

The yellow section is a “cautionary zone” that states, “the student shows signs of distress, but I am unsure how serious it is. My interaction has left me feeling uneasy and really concerned about the student.”

Solutions provided for this section would be to call on counseling and psychological services.

The green section aims to spot a problem before it further develops into something serious.

In this situation, the Red Folder identifies it as a scenario where staff or faculty do not spot an immediate concern for a student’s safety, but instead notice significant academic or personal difficulty.

It is advised that in a green situation, students should be referred to an “appropriate campus resource.”

Jackley said that the Red Folder is an excellent way to make teachers aware that students are going through tough times and that some may need help, even if they are not asking for it.

The Red Folder advises teachers to think twice and proceed with caution and alertness.

There are indicators of a student in need, according to the Red Folder.

It goes over the academic indicators, safety risk indicators, psychological indicators and physical indicators of a student in trouble.

Academic indicators include “sudden decline in quality of work and grades, repeated absences, disturbing content in writing or presentations (e.g., violence, death), office hours become more personal rather than academic, continuous classroom disruptions.”

Safety risk indicators include unprovoked anger or hostility, making implied or direct threats to harm self or others, academic assignments dominated by themes of extreme hopelessness, rage, worthlessness, isolation, despair, acting out suicidal ideations or violent behaviors.

Psychological indicators identify as self-disclosure of personal distress that could include family problems, financial difficulties, depression, grief, thoughts of suicide, excessive tearfulness, panic reactions, irritability, unusual apathy, verbal abuse or expressions of concern about a student by their peers.

Physical indicators are marked changes in physical appearance (including deterioration in grooming, hygiene or weight loss or gain), excessive fatigue or sleep disturbance, intoxication, hangovers and being disoriented.

Jackley stated that many students do not know when they are going through tough times, therefore making it difficult to seek out proper help.

“Many students wait until their senior years to seek help from SHCS,” said Jackley.

The Red Folder also gives tips and resources to the reader.

It tells the reader to be proactive, be direct, listen sensitively and carefully, use safety first, follow through and seek consultation and documentation.

The Red Folder is used as a helpful tool to help professors see when a student needs assistance and refer them to the proper resources provided on campus.

Faculty and staff are also able to access the Red Folder electronically through computers connected to the university.

In addition, mobile apps are available for both Apple and Android devices for easy access to the staff and faculty.

Red Folder an opportunity to help students

Sungah Choi / The Poly Post

Red Folder an opportunity to help students

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