Behavioral Intervention Team

Purpose of the Behavioral Intervention Team

As a result of growing national trends on college campuses of mental health issues and the increase in hospitalizations and deaths due to alcohol consumption, Washington Adventist University created the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). In order to promote the safety and health of its students, the BIT addresses student behaviors that are disruptive and may include mental health and/or safety issues. Students who qualify for a Behavioral Intervention Team referral demonstrate one or more of the behaviors above.
The Behavioral Intervention Team consists of a group of qualified and dedicated WAU professionals whose mission is to:
  • Balance the individual needs of the student and those of the greater campus community
  • Provide a structured positive method for addressing student behaviors that impact the university community and may involve mental health and/or safety issues
  • Manage each case individually
  • Initiate appropriate intervention without resorting to punitive measures
  • Eliminate “fragmented care”
 The team works to: 
  • Intervene early and provide support and behavioral response to students displaying varying levels of disruptive, disturbed and distressed behaviors
  • Respond with support first and sanctions as a last resort
  • Predict with accurate individualized assessment the potential for violent, homicidal and/or suicidal behaviors while avoiding stigmatizing mental health issues and stereotype-based profiling
  • Enable adherence to a formalized protocol of instructions for communication, coordination and intervention
  • Balance FERPA, HIPAA and counselor privilege with college need-to-know and emergency communication needs
  • Centralize collection and assessment of red flags raised by student behavior and connect the dots of disparate problematic actions involving one student that may be known to various faculty, staff and administrators
  • Engage faculty and staff in effective response with respect to disruptive and/or distressed students
  • Coordinate follow-up to ensure that services, support and resources are deployed effectively
  • Coordinate mandated psychological assessment, conduct actions, disability services, accommodations, hospitalization and/or medical leave/withdrawal, as needed, and eliminate fragmented care

What to Report

In general, any behavior that disrupts the mission or learning environment of the university or causes concern for a student’s well-being should be reported. This includes:
  • Self-injurious behavior/suicidal ideation or attempt. Behaviors include, but are not limited to:
    • Suicidal thoughts or actions, self-mutilation
    • Erratic behavior (including online activities) that disrupts the mission and/ or normal proceedings of University students, faculty, staff, or the community
  • Violation of alcohol and drug use policy. Behaviors include, but are not limited to:
    • Erratic behavior (on-or-off-campus) created by the use of alcohol or drugs, involuntary hospitalization due to alcohol or drug use
  • Concerns about a student’s well-being
BIT will act quickly to respond to reports; however, BIT team may not able to provide an immediate response to a concern. Call 911 or Campus Security if you feel threatened or an immediate response is needed.

How to Report

A. Complete the on-line confidential form
B. Contact any member of BIT:

Core Team

  • Vice President for Student Life
  • Deans of Resident Life
  • Director of Campus Safety
  • Campus Professional  Counselor

What Happens to a Behavioral Report Form Once a report is submitted:

  1. Report immediately enters secure database
  2. Automated notification is sent to Campus Student Life Dean
  3. Report is reviewed by BIT
  4. Reporter may be contacted for further information

Potential Outcomes of Reports

  • Recommend no action, pending further observation
  • Assist faculty or staff in developing a plan of action
  • Refer student to existing on-campus support resources
  • Refer student to appropriate community resources
  • Make recommendations consistent with college policies and procedures