Emotional support for a student studying abroad


When a student having self-harming thoughts called an International SOS Assistance Centre, the local teams jumped into action to help.

Service: Emotional Support 
Location: Australia



The International SOS Assistance Centre (AC) in America received a call from one of its student members studying abroad in Australia who was standing on a bridge with suicidal thoughts and intentions.  



The conversation was immediately triaged by the first call desk coordinator and escalated to a nurse who had previously built a rapport with the student from an unrelated medical concern earlier in the trip. The nurse quickly re-established and nurtured trust with the individual in order to determine critical details, such as her location, and discourage her from taking any drastic steps.  


While doing this, calls were simultaneously placed from the medical team in Philadelphia to the Sydney AC in Australia for support activating local emergency responders to the individual’s location. During the search, the Philadelphia AC nurse kept the student on the call, talking and safe. Shortly thereafter the local police was able to find the member and help ensure her safety.


Once the local authorities located the student, she was taken to a hospital where she was evaluated for risk of self-harm. During this time, International SOS referred the member to a partnering wellness provider for emotional support.  




The student was able to finish her study abroad, receiving full credit, and save costs on needing to fly home early.


Exposure to new environments, minor medical conditions or simply being too far from loved ones can impact a staff member or student’s emotional wellbeing. These events can trigger stress and anxiety, which can lead to distraction, everyday disruption or even something more serious.


Our medical team and coordinators are trained to recognise potential red flags regarding both medical and emotional wellbeing. International SOS also has a partnership with Workplace Options (WPO) who specialise in handling emotional support cases. Our comprehensive care ensures all of your staff and students’ needs are met in one place.