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Curtin University

How can staff utilise SSAs for their students?

Curtin staff members are able to refer students who have social wellbeing concerns as per the below.

There are two types of referrals to the Student Support Advisors (SSAs).

1) Urgent Referral: When there is an immediate concern for a student's safety and the individual requires follow-up within 24 hours. In this case, referrals are best made by phone on extension 7850. Examples of urgent referrals include: Domestic violence concerns, imminent homelessness, or for victims of violent crimes.

2) Regular Referral: When there are social wellbeing concerns that are unlikely to affect a student's immediate safety. For example: Financial difficulties, nutrition concerns, adjustment issues, or organisational support. In this instance, referrals are encouraged via email at It is requested that a short referral form be completed and attached to the email.

Staff should direct the student to contact the SSAs, but the student has not done so within 7 days, the SSAs will initiate follow-up.

In both urgent and regular cases, the referring staff member will be issued with a confirmation of attendance via email. Please note, beyond this the SSAs must adhere to the limits of Counselling and Disability Services confidentiality agreement.

The main types of issues Curtin staff can refer students to the SSAs for assistance with are as follows:

Welfare Checks 
Your student has not come to tutorial classes, submitted assignments and is not responding to emails or phone calls. The student’s course mates and/or flatmates also report not having seen him/her and you have reason to believe there may be an issue with their safety. Or, if a parent calls to tell you they have not heard from their child and is requesting support in contacting them.

A student is sighted frequently sleeping in the library and labs, with obvious hygiene issues (smell and looking dishevelled)
A student tells you that he/she is homeless.
A student recently met with a crisis (unforeseen circumstances) that has impacted on his/her financial situation
A student expressing extreme concerns about study expenses
A student’s grades have slipped because of financial strains and requiring practical financial assistance and support
A student requesting general advice on budgeting and lifestyle expenses.

A student who is not eating well because of costs and would benefit from more information on how to keep the expenses down, while maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet.

Domestic Violence
If you notice:
A student’s partner is frequently seen waiting outside of the student’s class
A student’s grades have slipped
A student is noticeably more withdrawn
A student appears nervous or tentative when with her/his partner or with his/her group of friends. A student’s course mate has expressed his/her concerns to you.

If your student would like more information on what a healthy relationship is, and what he/she can do to have one.

Support after a crime or illness
A student has recently been a victim of an assault, accident or on-going illness
A student requires support when lodging a police report and/or Violence Restraining Order
A student would like to talk to someone about it

Alcohol, drugs and other dependencies
A student has arrived to classes or appointments late on a few occasions
Student’s presentation is different (eg. marked neglect in self- care, blood shot or glassy eyes, slurred speech)
You smell alcohol on the student
A student admits to using drugs and/or alcohol and would like support.

A student informs you they have been hospitalised
A classmate, friend or family member informs you a student will not be in class because they are in hospital.