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CARE/BIT Team

​​The CARE Team assists students who have been identified by student/staff/faculty as suffering from mental health issues. This interdepartmental team connects students with the appropriate services and monitors their progress in an effort to ensure their general well-being, academic success and progress, and in order to maintain a healthier and safer college. 

Mission 

The mission of the CARE Team is to: Assist in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the students and members of the college community from student behaviors which are a concern, while balancing the educational needs of the student and the academic mission of the college.


Need

Behavioral Intervention Teams (CARE Teams) have been and are being created at colleges across the country to meet 3 basic needs that are found on each college:

  • Concern for the well-being of individual students
  • To identify/address/monitor concerning activity at lowest possible level, before it might become lethal
  • Neither students with issues nor those around them perform optimally, affecting level of student success  

Well-Being of the Student 

The trends on colleges are:  

  • More students on college campuses are needing mental health services than in the past
  • More students suffer from serious psychiatric disorder
  • More of them are using psychiatric medicines

The result is that many of our students on our colleges today suffer from serious mental health needs:

  • An American College Health Association Survey in 2008 found that 49% of college students felt overwhelming anxiety at some point, and that 30% of students had at some point in the last 12 months felt so depressed that they found it hard to function
  • The Spring 2008 College Health Assessment found that 85% of students felt stressed on a daily basis and that 60% felt so stressed on one or more occasions that they could not get their work done

Directors of Counseling Centers across the country agree:

  • For example, Centers at Dartmouth, MIT, Harvard, Florida, University of Chicago, Hofstra all agree
  • All counseling centers are seeing more students, and the students have more serious issues, than ever before 

Students with mental health issues need to be identified and connected to appropriate services.

Prevention of Escalation

In the Virginia Tech incident in 2007, which left 33 dead:

  • The student had a history of mental health issues - professors/police/students had reported the student’s disturbing behavior, he was once committed to a psychiatric hospital, and there was a court mandate demanding care (he attended only 1 counseling session).
  • The full picture was not assembled until after the fact, many believe that this could well have prevented the tragedy
  • The Behavioral Intervention Team movement on colleges is  committed to seeing that structures are in place to give the best possible opportunity to prevent another tragedy like this one  

Earliest possible identification of troubled students, with appropriate services provided and follow-up monitoring involved, give us the best possible chance of preventing serious violence on our college.

 

Success of Students 

Neither those with emotional issues nor those around them can focus properly on academic work:

  • The Mental Health Association of Illinois has reported that without proper mental health treatment, mental health conditions may lead to poor school performance.
  • Ken Duckworth, MD, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Medical Director of NAMI (National Association of the Mentally Ill) warns us that undiagnosed mental illness can cause people to withdraw socially and drop out of school.
  •  Students  often feel uncomfortable, concerned, or unsafe around behavior who is extremely aggressive, angry, bizarre, depressed, or withdrawn.  Optimal learning cannot take place if a student is concerned about, or apprehensive of, a student in his/her classroom.
  • According to research done by Marcy Levin-Epstein in 2007, if students are treated for their mental health issues they continue their education, and their grades and their outlook improve  

Commitment to student success includes dealing with mental health issues of students in a manner which allows both the student and those around them to have the best possible opportunity for academic success.

Membership

Members of the Committee

  • Executive Dean for Enrollment Management (Chair)
  • Dean For Student Success  (or representative)
  • VP for Instruction  (or representative)
  • Personal Counselor

Their Function:

  • Decide who to invite to give information
  • Ask Questions of those invited
  • Meet with parents, if appropriate
  • Make all decisions  

Individuals Invited to Provide Information, as appropriate:

  • Faculty departments or individual faculty
  • Police Department
  • College nurse, health center
  • Disability Services
  • Veterans’ Services
  • Directors of specific Student Success programs
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Others as needed

Their Function:

  • Attend only long enough to give info
  • Do not meet with parents
  • Are not involved in any decisions