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When Life Hits the Fan: Staying On Track When Things Take A Turn

When Life Hits the Fan: Staying On Track When Things Take A Turn

Maintaining your life at school when life gets in the way.

By Kyiara Griffin

March 20, 2012

It happens to the best of us. You start the semester with a game plan and every intention to avoid the mistakes of the past. Time drains such as the internet, partying, and anything else have been sorted out. Your finances are in order, you have your health, and your personal life is drama free. Then, it happens. Life, whether over time or all at once, arrives with a challenge. If you are able to maintain your course schedule with the emergency, then it is time to take action.

If You are Facing an Emergency Situation, Address the Situation First and Contact Professors Later.

Medical and psychological emergencies fall under this category. There are numerous kinds of medical emergencies, each with varying treatments and few that can be performed by an untrained, unprepared individual. What you can do, however, is keep a close eye on the individual and call for a professional. As the situation is an emergency, it is not a good time to ruminate over the timing: take a few deep breaths, forget everything else for a few seconds, and focus on addressing the immediate problem.

If the individual is near you during the emergency and you do not know how to address that person’s current medical needs, then ask for assistance, send for help, and call the local emergency number. If assistance is on the way, then make sure bystanders clear a path. Look for any visible changes to share with the medical professional when they arrive.

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Emotional and psychological emergencies are more difficult for a bystander to identify and address, because most of the damage is not highly visible or tangible. Follow the same rules listed for a medical emergency. Please note, however, that sudden manifestations of some psychological emergencies can be potentially dangerous for both the assisted person and the people present. If this is the case, do not feel ashamed to move others and yourself out of the way of immediate danger. Take along anything you can that could pose an immediate danger to that person as well. Wait for professional assistance.

Suicide attempts also fall under this category.

If you are about to attempt suicide, then please find someone- anyone- by phone, by knocking on a door, by doing something other than going through with it.

If you have a friend who is contemplating suicide, then stay with them. Do not leave them alone. If you live on campus, contact the RA on duty and, if available, the campus counseling center. If you live off-campus or the line is busy, there are also suicide hotlines available.

If a physical injury has occurred as a result of the attempt or a substance was ingested, then immediately call for an ambulance. If possible, try to look for the bottle of the ingested substance: the label might provide valuable information to Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or the hospital.


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