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This is an On-Line Workshop offered by the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Penn State's University Park Campus. The workshop is based on live training that is offered regularly on campus. It is designed to help you, as a faculty or staff member at Penn State, deal with students you may come into contact with who are dealing with a high level of stress -- to the point of distress. Identification of such students may be due to very subtle or very obvious signs.

This On-Line Workshop is designed to help you

  • identify those Students in Distress
  • provide you with guidance on how to intervene on their behalf, and
  • refer them to the appropriate personnel to help them deal with their problems.


Read through the material in this On-Line Workshop in the order recommended below. You may stop at any time and then come back later and pick up where you left off.

To assist you in recognizing Students in Distress, this workshop includes three Role Plays. These scenes depict:

  • general stress overload
  • suicide
  • sexual assault

At appropriate times during the workshop, you will be asked to view these videos. Please allow some time after viewing the videos to reflect on what you have seen, and answer the questions following each one, before proceeding. If possible, discuss the Role Plays with your colleagues or a mental health professional.

At the end of the On-Line Workshop, there are lists of services that are provided by the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Penn State's University Park Campus, and in the community. Similar services may be offered in your community.

Recommended order of sessions:

  1. Overview
  2. Important Statistics
  3. Tips for Recognizing Distress
  4. Role Play #1 & Follow-up questions/discussion
  5. Intervention Guidelines
  6. Role Play #2 & Follow-up questions/discussion
  7. Screening for Suicide
  8. Sexual Assault
  9. Role Play #3 & Follow-up questions/discussion
  10. CAPS Services
  11. Resources


Mary Anne Knapp
M.S.W. (1975) Social Work, West Virginia University
Clinical Social Worker, Outreach and Consultation Coordinator

Interests: Treatment with victims of family and life traumas (PTSD), compulsive disorders: eating disorders, substance abuse, relationship addiction, self-help resources and psycho-educational interventions, women's issues.

Kurt Gehlert
Ph.D. (1994) Counseling Psychology,
Univ. of Missouri, Columbia
Staff Psychologist, Group Coordinator

: Group therapy, family therapy, men's issues, social constructionist therapy.



  ADA/EEOC © 2003. Center for Counseling and Psychological Services  501 Student Health Center  (814) 863-0395