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Decision Tree

If you are concerned for the immediate safety of yourself and/or others, call 911.

Need guidance on what to do? Check out each of the following to help you determine a course of action:
Minimal Risk
Possible Risk to Self or Others
Imminent Risk to Self or Others

Minimal Risk

Step In & Speak Out

Types of signs & symptoms

  • Individual does not express or indicate issues of risk to self or others.
  • Only a few indicators of distress are evident (i.e., difficulty focusing, sleep changes).
  • Disrespectful or inappropriate language.
  • Visible distress, emotional outburst, academic difficulties, withdrawn socially, eating changes.
  • Issue is typically about one area of life (i.e., family, friends, academics).

Examples

  • Individual expresses depression and anxiety but denies suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
  • Individual sends a terse email with disrespectful language demanding immediate action.
  • Individual has a distorted body image and expresses a desire to lose weight.
  • Student will not listen to basic classroom instructions from faculty (i.e., put away a cell phone when requested).
  • Student raises voice at receptionist demanding assistance.
  • Student shares history of test anxiety.
  • Employee shares about challenging family issues at home.
  • Individual expresses depression and anxiety but denies suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
  • Individual sends a terse email with disrespectful language demanding immediate action.
  • Individual has a distorted body image and expresses a desire to lose weight.
  • Student will not listen to basic classroom instructions from faculty (i.e., put away a cell phone when requested).
  • Student raises voice at receptionist demanding assistance.
  • Student shares history of test anxiety.
  • Employee shares about challenging family issues at home.

What you can do – Step In & Share Resources

  • Show empathy. Share your concerns and offer campus and community resources. Consult H.E.R.O. folder for resources.
  • Consult with the Office of Student Conduct to review student disruptive behavior for appropriate action.
  • Follow-up with the individual, share concern and see if the individual got connected with campus resources.
  • Consult with your supervisor or chair/director.

Possible Risk to Self or Others

Step In & Speak Out with Assistance

Types of signs & symptoms

  • Individuals may be at risk to self or others.
  • Several indicators of distress are present (i.e., change in appetite, change in attendance, change in sleep patterns).
  • Expressions of hopelessness.
  • Emotional reaction inappropriate to situation.
  • Issue is impacting more than one area of life (i.e., family, friends, academics).

Examples

  • Individual behavior may be disorganized, paranoid or out of touch with reality.
  • Individual reports a history of self-injurious behavior (i.e., cutting, burning) and reports the urge to begin this behavior again.
  • Individual is not listening to requests to leave the immediate area or stop the behavior.
  • Individual has experienced a sudden, distressing event (i.e., death, break up, divorce) and seems inconsolable.

What you can do – Step In & Speak to a Resource

  • Inform the individual you would like to call a mental health resource for assistance.
  • Review the ‘responding to distress’ section of this folder for information.
  • Call University Police to request a crisis intervention team (CIT) officer for assistance.
  • Contact the dean of students for support and Behavior Assessment Team consultation.

Imminent Risk to Self or Others

Step In & Notify Emergency Resources

Types of signs & symptoms

  • There is an immediate threat of harm to self or others (i.e., a weapon is present, verbal threats).
  • Individual shares intent to harm oneself or others.
  • Multiple indicators of distress are present (i.e., change in appetite, attendance changes, sleep changes).

Examples

  • Individual threatens or attempts to physically harm oneself or others.
  • Individual promises “to make you pay” if situation not immediately resolved.
  • Individual yells, does not respond to others attempts to deescalate the situation and engages in disruptive behavior (i.e., throws a backpack, paces back and forth).
  • Individual is unconscious, unresponsive or indicates that pills were ingested.

What You Can Do – Step In and Notify an Emergency Resource

  • Call 911 if you are concerned for your immediate safety or the immediate safety of others.
  • Share documentation with your supervisor or chair/director per department protocol.
  • For additional support following the incident, consult with the Dean of Students or Human Resources.

Last updated: 1/23/2021