What is a Behavioral Intervention Team?
This is a multi-disciplinary team of university faculty and staff whose purpose is to support students’ mental health and emotional well-being by tracking "red flags" over time, detecting patterns, trends, and disturbances in individual or group behavior. Because all people experience stress, BIT is particularly concerned when students are unable to respond or manage distress in healthy and constructive ways. If the experience of personal challenges and difficulties begins to systematically interfere with a student’s functioning or leads the student to behave in ways that are inconsistent with community standards or conventional social or interpersonal behaviors the BIT is prepared to intervene. After receiving a report of concerning behavior, we investigate, perform a risk assessment, and determine the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/notification, and response. In addition, BIT is responsible for reviewing medical withdrawal requests.
The BIT is different from the Threat Assessment team. Student behavior that poses a threat of targeted violence or disruption of public order and safety are addressed by threat assessment. A report of concerning behavior can escalate to a threat of violence, and two members of BIT also serve on the Threat Assessment Team to create seamless transition of such cases.
Learn more about BIT at https://www.nabita.org/.
What constitutes concerning behavior?
Anything that causes you to worry about a student’s mental health or emotional well-being, including:
- Suicidal ideation or attempt
- Hospitalization for mental health crisis
- Disturbances on campus or in the classroom
- Difficulty managing multiple or extreme stressors
- Unhealthy eating habits/concern for eating disorders
- Uncharacteristic changes in mood or behavior
- Showing symptoms of overwhelming distress causing ineffective or unhealthy coping strategies
- Exhibiting disproportionate emotional responses to situational stressors
- Marked changes in personal appearance resulting for poor maintenance and hygiene
- Disruption to academic progress or ability to engage with coursework
When should I report to BIT?
There are numerous support resources on campus to help our students succeed, and sometimes a simple referral to a campus partner is what a student needs. However, this is not always the case – and that is where BIT comes in.
Not sure if you should report a student to BIT? Contact Sue Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 472-9695, or Kara Brant at email@example.com or (402) 472-7030.
Refer to Campus Partners
- One or two situational stressors, but student is coping
- Problem with a known solution
- Common campus resources for routine worries.
Refer to BIT
- Multiple situational stressors
- Disturbed or distressed, with difficulty coping
- Single disruptive episode
- Suicidal ideations
Refer to BIT
- Multiple disruptive episodes
- Follow-up communication or collateral revelation
Submitting a Report
- Give the context for your observations.
- If possible, carefully describe changes in student behavior.
- If possible, identify other sources who can confirm your observations.
- Use concrete descriptors for behavior observed.
- Maintain impartiality, particularly if in conflict or at odds with the student.
- Only include relevant information.
- Making conclusions about individual’s state of mind or thoughts
- Personal judgements
- Extraneous information
- Diagnostic or clinical terms
- Reaching conclusions or making recommendations
- Criticizing other university staff/faculty
- Blaming or attributing student distress
Who serves on BIT?
- Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
Officer Caleb Gose
- University Police Department
- Director of Services for Students with Disabilities
- Director of Student Resilience
- Professor of Psychology
- Chairperson of Child, Youth & Family Studies
- Assistant Director of Scholarships & Financial Aid