Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

Submit a Student Concern Report

A 90-minute training on student behavioral intervention is available. Faculty and staff groups can request a training by contacting Kara Brant (kbrant2@unl.edu) or Sue Moore (smoore3@unl.edu).

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 smoore3@unl.edu or (402) 472-9695, or Kara Brant at kbrant2@unl.edu or (402) 472-7030.

Routine Worries

Refer to Campus Partners

Elevated Concerns

Refer to BIT
  • Multiple situational stressors
  • Disturbed or distressed, with difficulty coping
  • Single disruptive episode
  • Suicidal ideations

Rapidly-Evolving Concerns

Refer to BIT
  • Multiple disruptive episodes
  • Follow-up communication or collateral revelation

Emergency

Dial 911 or (402) 472-2222
  • Suicide is about to happen
  • Incapacity—can't care for themselves
  • Violence towards others

Submitting a Report

Best Practices:

  • 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.

Avoid:

  • 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
Submit a Student Concern Report

Who serves on BIT?

  • Tricia Besset-Alesch
  • Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Officer Caleb Gose
  • University Police Department
  • Sam Goodin
  • Director of Services for Students with Disabilities
  • Connie Boehm
  • Director of Student Resilience
  • Dave Hansen
  • Professor of Psychology
  • Paul Springer
  • Chairperson of Child, Youth & Family Studies
  • Anna Plank
  • Assistant Director of Scholarships & Financial Aid