StudentsCritical Information

Please read this to establish the ground rules for presentations, including respect and consideration of others, and/or before doing role plays.

These presentations are meant to generate thought and promote discussion. We recognize and appreciate that these topics contain sensitive material.  Many of you in the room may have had personal experience with this issue. Through the course of this discussion, dialogue may occur that causes an emotional reaction. It is important that the emotional reaction doesn’t impact the learning process.  Therefore, if you need to leave the room for something other than a reaction to what is being discussed, please give a cue to the instructor or let a person next to you know that everything is “OK.” Also, please be respectful that someone in the room may have a reaction to what is being said.

In a supportive environment, helpers will be able to put into practice the information and skills they have learned in training. This is neither a time to be nervous, nor a time where anyone is going to be laughed at for not knowing the “right answer.” This is an opportunity to experience situations that helpers will likely encounter this year. Take it seriously and strive to learn. What you say and how you approach these situations will be similar to what you will say and how you will approach actual situations. The point is to practice without risk — practice makes us better!


  • You do not have to know how to do everything perfectly nor do you need to have all the answers.
  • This is a time to ask lots and lots of questions.
  • If we choose to role-play and you are not the one acting in a scenario, please observe silently — avoid dramatic facial expressions and talking. Consider what you might do in that situation and how you might feel. You will be asked about it in the discussion that follows.
  • We value everyone’s input, but we only have limited time for debriefing after each scenario. Not everyone will be able to share after each scenario. Feel free to write down issues as they arise. Although it may not be relevant to a current discussion, anything important should be followed up on with your Life Skills Coordinator.
  • This is not a time to share “horror stories” or to “one-up” each other’s stories. Please share the learning that occurred in relevant situations you have experienced or witnessed.
  • There is often not a right or wrong way to handle a situation — but what you do and say can make all the difference for the individuals involved (refer to Strategies for Effective Helping, Section C.) Please continue to talk to your Life Skills Coordinator about how you can improve your own confrontation / attending skills.

For Actors (if you choose to do role plays):

Step UP! members may have the opportunity to “act” in TIME OUT scenarios to practice intervention and attending skills. The goal is to create realistic scenarios where all helpers are able to practice their new skills in an environment where they feel safe and supported by others on the Step UP! team.

Perspective taking is a key element in role-taking. 3 vital role-taking aspects have
been identified.

  1. First, role-takers must put in the effort to perceive how others understand and respond to the world.
  2. Second, role-takers must be able to take multiple perspectives. That is, they should be able to view a situation from the perspective of many people.
  3. Third, role-takers should be able to perceive the other’s perspective in depth and have a full understanding of the other’s perspective.

Please remember:

  • Take your roles seriously.
  • Be as realistic as possible (without being physical) to provide other helpers the opportunity to practice and learn.
  • The Facilitator will assist with the questions afterwards; please add your experiences when prompted.

For Facilitators:

Determine the most effective and appropriate way to facilitate the scenarios that follow (role play, group break outs, discussion, etc.) You should allow approximately 15 minutes for the students to complete the scenario worksheet and approximately 15 minutes to debrief each scenario. If time allows, you can generate more discussion with the questions at the beginning of each topic area. Keep track of the time to assure your group is able to experience and learn from each scenario.

Please remember:

  • Ask your group before beginning to let you know (privately) if they feel they would rather not be the “intervening student” or be in a group discussing a particular topic (sexual assault, discrimination, eating disorders, etc.) if they feel a potential scenario might trigger them personally.
  • Always focus on giving useful feedback to helpers. If you notice something that warrants follow up regarding their participation, please follow up promptly.

For further information, please contact us.