Mental & Behavioral Health Concerns or Risks

Contact Us

Kenneth Holmes 
Dean of Students
Student Affairs


The Behavioral Intervention Team utilizes the National Behavioral Intervention Team Associations' (NaBITA) Threat Assessment Tool as its guide for assessing mental and behavioral health concerns, level of risk and to determine appropriate interventions: 2009NABITAwhitepaper.pdf

 Examples of behaviors that should immediately be reported to the Dean of Students for referral to BIT include elevated and severe safety risks such as:

A. Suicidal or Homicidal Thoughts or Impulses

Students expressing the intent to harm themselves or others must be considered as a serious situation. Students may express their signs of distress through written assignments, exams or verbal statements disclosing feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or helplessness, and feelings of failure and humiliation.

B. Expression of Violent and Aggressive Thoughts

Violent and aggressive impulses can be expressed through verbal threats, threatening e-mails or instant messages, letters, and writing assignments or exams that contain violent or threatening material. Special consideration should be given to repeated, directed and/or specific threats and those that suggest that the student will carry it out.

C. Depression

Depressed students may exhibit withdrawal, poor concentration, poor hygiene, loss of self-esteem, or hopelessness. The student might speak in a low flat monotone, have a vacant stare or seem on the verge of crying. The student might also use writing assignments to reveal personal issues inappropriate to the assignment. Students who experience an overwhelming loss such as a death in the family or change in relationship status (e.g. breakup or divorce) may present depressive symptoms.

D. Severe Disruptive Behavior and/or Agitated Behavior

Exhibiting behavior which is out of character and/or non-compliant (e.g., student appears emotionally volatile, loses his/her temper, cries easily, appears glassy-eyed or uses profane language). Students may become hostile, belligerent, and/or out of control, causing a crisis situation in class.

E. Disorientation

Students who are disoriented may exhibit an inability to communicate (e.g. garbled or slurred speech, disjointed thoughts) and loss of contact with reality (e.g., seeing or hearing things that are not there, expressing beliefs or actions at odds with reality).

F. Physical and Sexual Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking

Students dealing with violence may exhibit a sudden drop in grades, change in appearance and frequent absences. They may receive multiple phone calls/texts during classes, or/and have someone waiting for them before and after class. If a student describes being followed by a stalker, experiencing violence at home, or in a relationship, or if they appear to have visible injuries, the safety of the student and the campus is at risk.

For additional information on the categories of mental and behavioral health concerns and example behaviors associated with mild, moderate, elevated, severe and extreme levels of risk, please see the following: 2009NABITAwhitepaper.pdf.