Tips for Supporting Students

Tips for supporting students in quarantine or isolation

Quarantine and isolation can play an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on campus, but that doesn’t mean that coping with the disruption in a normal routine is easy. The isolation imposed could leave students feeling that they have no control over the situation and cut-off from campus as they are unable to perform their usual duties.

What being in quarantine or isolation could mean for students

  • Separation from loved ones and a support system
  • Disruption of their daily life routine
  • Inability to comply with some responsibilities
  • Uncertainty over the disease status
  • Ability to make choices can be limited for a period of time
  • Loss of leisure activities

Stressors after quarantine or isolation

After their time in quarantine or isolation, students could face the following challenges:

  • Anxiety around others with potential avoidance of some settings
  • Increased stress over financial status if they could not work during that period of time
  • Increased academic stress if they could not continue their classes and submit required assignments
  • Fear of being stigmatized
  • Feeling disconnected from others

How to support students


  • Talk to the student privately
  • Listen and ask follow-up questions
  • Share your concern with them and be specific about the behavior that is worrying you
  • Validate and acknowledge the emotions the student is sharing with you
  • Offer help and follow-up with the student afterwards
  • Ask them if they need help problem-solving the situation


  • Show support by minimizing or disregarding fear (“Don’t worry, things will be just fine.”) This approach could make the other person feel their feelings are being dismissed.
  • Try to change the person’s feelings. There are no “right or wrong” ways to react to the current situation.
  • Lecture the person on the things you consider they did wrong.
  • Be judgmental about the person’s circumstances or feelings.
  • Jump to “advice giving mode” immediately.

Make a referral to CAPS

If the student needs more support, encourage them to contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to schedule an individual appointment (812-855-5711). Remind the student that CAPS services are confidential.

If you would like to continue talking to the student, but need more help on what to say, you can consult with a CAPS counselor. They can help provide you with some guidelines. Consultation services are available Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 812-855-571.

If a student appears to be in immediate risk of causing harm to themselves or others, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Another way to request help with an issue or concern, especially if you don't know which office or department to contact, is to submit a Care Referral. Anyone who is concerned about the safety or well-being of an IU student—including parents, IU faculty and staff, community members, and other students—can submit a confidential Care Referral about that person.

Submit a Care Referral

The CAPS crisis line is available 24/7/365 by calling 812-855-5711 and choosing option #1.