In cases of emergency, reporters must contact 911 or OTC’s Safety & Security FIRST if the person of concern poses an immediate threat to self or others OR if the individual experiences a medical emergency (e.g. seizure, loss of consciousness). The BIT plays a secondary role to all urgent circumstances and should be contacted only after initial emergency notifications are made. Individuals should follow up during the next business day with Safety and Security and the BIT by completing a Report of Concern.
The primary responsibility of the BIT is to address issues of the mental health of our students and to reach out to those students who seem to be hurting or struggling. Some professionals refer to this as students who are ‘off baseline.’ In other words, their current behavior is not in line with their typical behavior. The students may show signs of depression, anger, or express feelings of worthlessness. Issues of self-care may be neglected. In these cases, reporting the issues of concern can assist the BIT in connecting students with the appropriate resources.
The second responsibility of the BIT is to maintain a safe campus for the entire academic community. Today, colleges and universities are being faced with increasing threats of campus violence. As the potential for danger grows, OTC is taking steps to prevent tragedy before it occurs. The best means of protecting our campus community from seemingly random violence is to accept that these acts are not as random as they may seem. If potential “red-flag” behaviors can be identified and handled accordingly, dangerous situations may be prevented.
By focusing on specific student behaviors instead of general characteristics, behavioral intervention avoids stigmatizing mental health issues and stereotype-based profiling.
To learn more about OTCCares and the Behavioral Intervention Team, please watch the informative video below.