Behavioral Intervention Team
Responding to Students Who Are Struggling
St. Cloud State University is committed to providing an educational environment in which we demonstrate care and concern for one another. The following information is designed to assist you in responding to students in distress and provide you important campus resources to assist you.
IDENTIFYING STUDENTS OF CONCERN
There are many reasons why students may be struggling or in distress. This includes relationship difficulties, financial problems, academic, personal or family issues, academic challenges, stress, depression or other illness. Students provide a number of clues that they are having difficulty. These clues can consist of:
- Emotional or behavioral withdrawal
- Loss of interest in previously important or pleasurable activities
- Caring less about academic or work performance
- Recent drop in grades, missed tests and assignments
- Repeated class or work tardiness or poor attendance
- Changes in behavior, hygiene or appearance
- Changes in appetite or quality of sleep
- Disruptive, agitated or hostile behavior in class, lab or study group
- Inappropriate display of emotions or behavior
- Suicidal talk or behavior
- Threatening language or behavior toward self or others
- Excess bravado toward authority
- Attempts to control or isolate others
- Expressions of desperation or hopelessness over financial, family, relationship or other personal problems
- Fascination with or a desire to discuss or condone incidents of violence or fascination with weapons
- Expressions of persecution, paranoia or perceived injustices
RESPONDING TO STUDENTS OF CONCERN
We should not assume that students will stop concerning behavior on their own because they may not be aware that it is troubling or know where to seek help or assistance. It is important to respond to small incidents or behaviors of concern as they occur. Talking to students can help identify issues sooner and help them cope more effectively. In many cases, your initial expression of concern may be all that is needed to help.
Talking with the student is the first step
- Speak to the student privately (include a colleague if you feel that it is necessary)
- Express your concern; be clear, honest and point out specific behaviors that concern you
- Listen carefully
- Do not offer confidentiality since you may need to share the information with others
- Note how others are affected (if applicable)
- Discuss options or suggest strategies
- Suggest seeing a counselor; offer to help make the call or accompany the student depending on your level of concern
- Set up a time to check back in
- Document your interactions
REFERRING STUDENTS OF CONCERN
In the event of an emergency, DIAL 911
Student Life and Development320-308-3111 / Atwood 219
The primary referral source for students of concern. Consultation may result in a referral to the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). BIT identifies disruptive, problematic or concerning behavior and determines the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/ notification and response. The team identifies the next steps, deploys the resources needed and coordinates follow-up. Email reports are welcome and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counseling and Psychological Services320-308-3171 / Stewart Hall 103
Counselors are available for consultation and, if warranted, crisis appointments. A clinical case manager can assist struggling students who may need referrals within campus or in the community.
Public Safety320-308-3333 / Public Safety Center
Maintains a 24/7 operation working to provide the safest environment possible by addressing safety, security or medical requests for assistance. They can assist with concerns about students after hours.
Residential Life320-308-2166 / Ervin House
Provides a student-centered living and learning environment. Staff are trained to respond to various situations and can be an excellent resource when dealing with residential students.
Student Health Services320-308-3191 / Hill Case
An accredited medical clinic staffed by licensed medical doctors and nurse practitioners that provides a full range of medical care for currently enrolled students.
For faculty and staff, the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines allow information about students to be shared when you are concerned about a student’s health or safety. While counselors and medical personnel have more restrictive limits about when they can share information, they are always able to accept information from you.
IN AN EMERGENCY
The following are rare instances when a student’s behavior poses a threat of:
- Danger and/or injury to self or others
- Significant disruption of the educational process
- Property destruction
In these cases, prompt action should be taken. Depending on your circumstances and level of concern you might:
- Attempt to calm the student
- Ask the student to leave your class or area
- Dismiss your class and leave the area
- Call 911 for St. Cloud Police and Public Safety at 320-308-3333 if you perceive an imminent threat or need immediate assistance.