The BIT is dedicated to identify, assess, monitor, and provide intervention for students who display moderate to elevated levels of distress, disruption and/or behavioral dysregulation.
There are three key categories of behavior that are of utmost concern to the BIT:
- Self-injurious behavior (i.e., suicidal ideation/attempt, cutting behavior, dangerous alcohol/substance consumption, etc.).
- Unusual behavior (i.e., changes in personality, depressive symptoms, shifts in mood, unexplained irritability and/or lethargy, hopelessness, etc.).
- Disruptive behavior that violates campus community safety (i.e., homicidal threats, stalking, assault, email/Blackboard bullying, carrying weapons, etc.).
Examples of behaviors that should immediately be reported to the Vice President for Student Success and/or the Associate Dean for Student Development for referral to BIT include elevated and severe safety risks such as:
- 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.
- 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.
Depressed students may exhibit withdrawal, poor concentration, poor hygiene, loss of self-esteem, or hopelessness. The student might speak in a low, flat monotone voice, 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.
- Severe Disruptive Behavior and/or Agitated Behavior
This describes behavior that 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.
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).
- 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.
Once an incident is reported to the BIT via the BIT Incident Report Form, members of the Committee review reports in a timely manner and determine appropriate action. This process is based on the severity of the concern, the ability of the person in question to engage in the resolution and the situation. Confidentiality of reports and processes are maintained as needed. For questions and to report concerning behavior, email: BIT@bcc.cuny.edu.
The BIT utilizes the National Behavioral Intervention Team Associations’ (NaBITA) Threat Assessment Tool as its guide for assessing mental and behavioral health concerns and level of risk, and to determine appropriate interventions: 2014 NABITA Threat Assessment Tool.pdf. For additional information on the categories of mental and behavioral health concerns and examples of behaviors associated with mild, moderate, elevated, severe and extreme levels of risk, please see the following: 2009 NABITA whitepaper.pdf.