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Northwest Missouri State University


Behavior Intervention Team

If you have a concern and wish to report it, please click on the link below:

Concerning Behavior Report




Overview | Student Distress | Reporting Concerns | Additional Resources

Overview

Purpose

Northwest expects and encourages students to demonstrate a reasonable concern for life, health, welfare, safety, and property of every member of the college community.  This is particularly true in the areas of self harm and harm to others.  In the event that the University is presented with a credible report that a student has harmed herself/himself, others, has a medical concern, or has materially and substantially disrupted the functioning of Northwest Missouri State University, then the University may take appropriate actions. 

Reports that are submitted regarding student behavior or concerns are submitted to a panel that represents a cross-disciplinary team of qualified campus professionals.  The panel will determine what type of assessment is appropriate, alternative interventions that are appropriative for the situation, or refer the situation for conduct purposes.  This panel is referred to as the Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) and they meet weekly to discuss reports and concerns. 


Team Members

Member

Department/Office

Dr. Kori Hoffmann Director of Student Conduct and Development (Chairperson)
Meghan Davis Director of Residential Life
Kenton Wilcox Faculty Representative
Kristen Peltz Assistant Director of Wellness Services- Counseling
Dr. Jerry Wilmes Executive Medical Director
Chief Clarence Green Chief of University Police
Brad Landhuis Assistant Director of Advisement
Sue Nickerson Executive Secretary of Student Affairs

Responsibilities

Receive and track concerning behaviors/reports related to students of concern Determine a course of action to address concerning behaviors to assist students be successful at the University Follow up with referral sources regarding next steps as allowed given the confidential nature of the information Educate and train community members on identifying concerning behaviors, how to address concerns, and how to report concerns.

Student Distress

Recognizing Students in Distress

Stress is a natural part of all our lives and can be especially challenging to students in a university setting. Many students are successful in coping with stress, but some feel overwhelmed.

Unusual behaviors, attendance patterns, appearance, or drastic changes in performance may signal that a student needs our help.

You may choose to approach the student personally and suggest options you have used before and/or strategies other students have found to be helpful. In other cases you may wish to note the issues and report them to the BIT. Whatever you choose, the goal is to get services and support to our students.


Signs of Distress

  • Change in pattern of interaction
  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or loss
  • Angry or hostile outbursts, yelling, or aggressive comments
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses
  • Persistent sadness or unexplained crying
  • High levels of irritability or inappropriate excitement
  • Written or artistic expression of unusual violence, morbidity, social isolation, despair, or confusion; essays or papers that focus on suicide or death
  • Disruptions to class and class management
  • Frequent or chronic illness
  • Disorganized speech, rapid or slurred speech, confusion
  • Threats of harming self or others

Significant changes in academic performance or attendance may also rise to the BIT level- These should be reported through Early Alert to determine if there are other similar reports which may bring the concerns to the BIT level.


Responding to Distress

Depending on your relationship with the student, you can address the situation directly or indirectly:

Directly: You may choose this option if you have a good relationship or rapport with the student. If you choose this option, be sure to:

  • Talk in private for confidentiality
  • Remind student you cannot guarantee confidentiality*, some concerns you are required to report
  • Express what you have observed and why you are concerned
  • Listen and understand the student’s perspective
  • Identify resources available to the student
  • Ask if the student has or has had thoughts of self-harm
  • Make the appropriate referrals to BIT or other resources
  • Inform student of your next steps

*Remind students you will only share with those who can help. If the student chooses not to share, report that interaction to BIT.

Indirectly: If you do not feel comfortable addressing the concern with the student, you may contact BIT or University Police to share your concerns.

Reporting Concerns

Each situation is unique and requires a different level of reporting. Based on how you choose to respond to the distress and the information you learn, you may choose one of the following reporting options:

Non-emergency: Situations in which there is no imminent threat can be reported though the link above. Additionally, you may choose to refer the student to various resources on campus depending on their needs.

Emergency: Any situation which you feel is imminent in nature and the safety of the student or others is involved should be reported immediately via phone to University Police (660.562.1254). These include thoughts of harm to self or others. If you are unsure, contact University Police as they are on call 24/7.

Additional Resources

Additional resources are available at the Wellness Center. You may contact a counselor with questions or concerns at 660-562-1348 or visit the Wellness Center website.

University Police also offers resources regarding working with emotionally disturbed individuals.