Crisis - Assessment - Referral - Evaluation
Helping students of concern
The Bridgewater State University CARE Team provides guidance and assistance to students who are displaying odd or unusual behaviors, are engaging in other behaviors that may be perceived as being harmful, or who share information that is cause for concern. The CARE Team accepts referrals and responds to students (and their families, faculty, and staff) when concerns for a student’s health, welfare, and safety are identified.
The CARE Team is not for emergencies. Referrals are monitored Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please call the Bridgewater State University Police Department at 508-531-1212 from an off campus phone or 911 from any campus phone if there is an immediate threat to a student’s safety or well–being.
The CARE Team also supports members of the university community who interact with these students of concern by assessing and evaluating situations, communicating with individuals involved or impacted by a student’s behavior, and providing referrals and resources to assist and address behavioral concerns. The CARE Team is committed to educating the university community about existing policies and instructs community members on how to address students of concern.
Examples of CARE Team referrals
- There are perceived concerns regarding the mental and/or physical health, welfare, and safety of a student.
- A student's physical appearance is deteriorating.
- A student is suffering from or dealing with the side effects of a serious illness.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I consider making a referral?
How can I identify a student in distress?
A student in distress may seem troubled, confused, severely depressed, highly anxious, and/or irritable. These students often lack motivation and/or concentration and may demonstrate bizarre behaviors or have suicidal inclinations.
Warning signs of a student in distress:
- A sudden change from passing grades to poor performance
- Excessive absence from a previously consistent attendance
- Avoidance of participation, anxiety, or dominance of discussions in class
- Increase or decrease in energy level or sleeping in class
- Depression, rapid speech, swollen red eyes, or change in personal hygiene
- Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses that are inappropriate to the situation
- Highly emotional or repeated requests for special consideration
How should I handle a student in distress?
For students who appear to be in distress, it is appropriate to consider one of the following responses:
- In the event of an emergency or imminent threat, contact BSU PD immediately at 508-531-1212 or dial 9-1-1 from a campus landline.
- Deal directly with the behavior or problem according to your established classroom protocol as outlined in the course syllabus.
- Address the situation on a more personal level, rather than in front of others.
- Consult with a member of the Counseling Center or a member of the CARE Team.
- Make a referral to the CARE Team.
How can I identify a student exhibiting disruptive behaviors?
A student who meets this criteria may be engaging in conduct that is visibly disruptive or dangerous and may include verbal or physical threats. In some instances, the student may even make active threats of suicide or be resistant to help when offered.
Warning signs of a student exhibiting disruptive behaviors
A disruptive student exhibits behaviors that signify an obvious crisis that necessitates an emergency intervention. These problems are the easiest to identify. Examples include:
- Highly disruptive behavior which may include hostility, aggression towards others, or in serious cases, violent outbursts
- Garbled or slurred speech with unconnected or disjointed thoughts and rambling
- Loss of contact with reality such as seeing or hearing things that are not witnessed or heard by others present and may also include holding beliefs or engaging in actions that are not consistent with reality or that a reasonable person would perceive to be probable
- Stalking behavior or repeated unwelcome advances
- Inappropriate communications including threatening or intimidating messages, e-mails, or verbal harassment
- Suicidal ideations expressed verbally or in classroom assignments
- Threats to harm self or others
How should I respond to a student exhibiting disruptive behavior?
Remain calm and know who to call for help if necessary.
- If a student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, or acts in a bizarre, highly irrational or disruptive way, contact BSU PD at 508-531-1212 or call 9-1-1 from a landline immediately.
- If it is safe to do so, find someone to stay with the student while you call for help.
- Remember that it is not your responsibility to provide professional counseling
- Your priority is to connect the student with the resource best suited to address the concern
When and how can I refer a student to the Counseling Center?
If a student is noticeably distressed, here are the roles you can play to help them recognize the benefits of counseling services:
- Recommend the Counseling Center to the student as an available option.
- Determine the student’s willingness to meet with a representative from the Counseling Center.
- Reassure the student that it is an act of strength to ask for help and seek assistance.
- Dispute the myth that only “weak or crazy” people go for counseling for personal help.
- Remind them that the Counseling Center resources are free and confidential services.
- Offer to help make the initial contact with the Counseling Center for them.
How can I make a referral to the CARE Team?
CARE Team Members:
- Elizabeth Ching-Bush, Chair, Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life and Housing, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 508.531.1277
- Glen Anderson, Deputy Chief of Police, Email: email@example.com Phone: 508.531.1212
- Tyler Botelho, Case Manager, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 508.531.2567
- Mary Ellis, Assistant Administrative Dean of Academic Affairs, Email: email@example.com Phone: 508.531.2860
- Eileen Estudante, Director of Student Outreach and Special Programs, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 508.531.1276
- Lauren Folloni, Executive Director, Academic Achievement Center, Email: email@example.com Phone: 508.531.1214
- Chris Frazer, Executive Director of the Wellness Center, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 508.531.1331
- Shelly Keniston, Director of Off-Campus Student Engagement, Transitions and Services, Email: email@example.com Phone: 508.531.1277
- Justin McCauley, Director of Residence Life and Housing, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 508.531.1277
- Peter Wiernicki, Director of Community Standards, Email: email@example.com Phone: 508.531.6177