If you think there's a student on campus in crisis who could use help or who might be a potential risk to others, here's what you can do:
During the past 10 years, colleges and universities across the country have begun organizing systematic ways to address students of concern to provide needed help and interventions before student needs to be escalated. In theory, these teams are meant to ensure the sharing of appropriate information among key personnel and serve a number of purposes.
Research shows that in most instances, the student's need for intervention or help may have been evident to faculty, advisors, staff, or other students and friends but usually no single person had the full picture of the student’s concerns, or the training to evaluate and respond appropriately. Critical campus incidents, such as the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, accelerated the drive to organize teams that address student crisis and provide mental health services through collecting and analyzing reports and developing interventions. These teams focus on student success but also develop cross-functional, collaborative threat assessment strategies seeking to make informed judgments and on how credible the threat itself is and to what extent the individual has the intent and means to carry out the threat (motivation, resources, etc.). Following the implementation of BC’s Early Alert program, in Fall 2014, the need for a systemic referral process and response coordination became evident. Although a case management approach to individual student issues has existed in the past, the College had not established an organized behavioral response team. With this goal, the Students of Concern Team was formed to start the process of researching protocols, developing care and threat assessment systems, and initiating a team-based response system. The following members have been placed to the team:
This team of professionals meet weekly to discuss specific student cases that have been brought to attention (through instructors, early alerts, student conduct, Title IX, etc.), attended trainings and certification courses on best practices, and begun developing procedures (referral processes, suicidal student protocols, expanded informed consent, etc.) to respond to student needs. In the future, the team will begin to provide professional development to help address student concerns and how to refer students to the team. For more information please contact any of the members of the team.
Annette Wells and Salvador (Sal) Hernandez are graduate students of USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. They are student interns working for Dr. Nicky Daminia in the Office of Student Life. Their main mission is to help students to succeed by providing wrap-around services to college students by connecting them to public benefits, institution and community resources, and addressing non-academic barriers that may hinder a student from achieving academic success. They are standing members of the Students of Concern (SOC) team. As part of the SOC team, they meet weekly with staff to discuss issues that may impact a student’s well-being and self-efficacy such as fair and equal access to financial aid services, employment, disability, and health services.
Annette Wells hails from Chicago, Il. She spent 20 years on active duty counseling personnel on their benefits of a Military Career. Her passion has always been to help people to overcome barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential of health, wealth and happiness. Her current focus at USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in Adult Mental Health and Wellness with a subspecialty in Military Social Work. She is married, mother of 4 children.
Born and raised in Bakersfield, CA, a Marine Corps veteran, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) counselor, and current graduate student at University of Southern California's Master of Social Work (MSW) program, Salvador is ready to make a positive change in his hometown and outward. An advocate for the disenfranchised and marginalized, Salvador understands that to make any change, you have to work closely with the individual, the family, and community and advocate for those that do not have a voice. On his spare time, Salvador enjoys working on his lawn and garden, reading fantasy novels, and catching up on the latest interventions for substance abuse and trauma.