BIT Warning Signs
What signs suggest a student might benefit from BIT assistance?
- Changes in academic performance
- Significant drop in exam scores
- Demonstration of financial challenges
- Difficulty interacting with others or avoidance of others
- Changes in physical presence ie. Sudden weight loss, poor hygiene, unkempt appearance
- Changes in concentration levels, memory or decision-making
- Repeated requests for special consideration or attention in classroom or elsewhere
- Abusing substances
- Hypersensitivity or exaggerated emotional responses
- Persistently disruptive behavior in classroom or elsewhere
- A student’s classroom behavior illustrates disordered thinking
- Demonstrates persistent sadness or unexplained crying
- Highly irritable mood or inappropriate excitement
- Obviously disturbing behavior
- Outbursts of anger, erratic and/or threatening behavior
- Disorganized speech or irrational thought content when talking
- Apparent loss of contact with reality (hallucinations, delusional thinking)
- Overly suspiciousness behavior or expressions of being persecuted
- Written or oral statements that reflect feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of death
- Threats of doing harm to self or others
What steps can you take to help?
For Level I and II Behavior, the following 5 steps are recommended:
Talk to the student in private when you both have time
*Express your concern in non-judgmental terms
*Demonstrate respect for the student’s values/beliefs
*Assist student in problem-solving to determine best course of action
1. ask if the student is considering suicide or has thoughts of hurting him/herself.
2. Identify resource options available to the student and assist with referral if needed
3. Make an explicit plan to follow up with the student
4. After the crisis point, contact a member of the Behavioral Intervention Team.
For Level III Behavior, take the following 4 steps:
- Stay calm
- Find someone to stay with the student if it is safe and possible
- Call USM Public Safety Dispatch at 207-780-5211 or, for LAC, Lewiston Police at 207-784-6421
- Notify Denise Nelson, the BIT chair, with information about the incident. The chair will involve the rest of the team to strategize next steps and create an individualized plan. Contact information: email@example.com or 207-939-4425.