What purpose does the Behavioral Assessment Team serves?
The purpose of the Behavioral Assessment Team (BAT) at The University of Texas at El Paso is to identify students in distress, involve critical stakeholders and create an effective plan of action to assist the student so he/she can achieve his/her academic and professional goals. Distressed behavior includes but is not limited to excessive class absences, declining academic performance, poor emotional control, mood swings, changes in sleeping or eating habits, excessive concern about physical or mental health, persistent depression or anxiety, suicidal or homicidal intent or participating in risky activities. In addition, BAT provides consultation, counseling and resources to members of the university community to address behavioral concerns of students.
Warning Signs of Suicide and Responding to Suicidal Concerns
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. There are basically four types of warning signs:
- Situational: stressful or traumatic experience
- Depressive: changes in usual behavior, inability to concentrate, socially withdrawn, easily agitated, apathy, crying, sense of worthlessness, appears sad, abusing substances
- Verbal: direct or indirect, verbally or in written material (i.e. assignments, papers, etc.)
- Behavioral: giving away possessions, writing a suicide note, acquiring means to commit suicide, organizing business and personal matters, suddenly resigning from organizations or clubs
Look for a cluster of clues. A suicidal person who give warning signs will most often present more than one clue. Suicide attempts are first and foremost a medical emergency. If danger or suicidal behavior appears imminent: 1) Stay calm and 2) Contact UTEP Police Department at 915-747-5611 or dial 911.
BAT Process and How to Make a Referral
The process is as follows:
- Initial information is reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. Send a report to BAT (email@example.com).
- If the information may be suited for the BAT, the Chair is given the preliminary information for further examination.
- If it is determined that there is a potential crisis situation or threat, the Chair gathers information from all necessary entities who may have contact with the situation.
- The core BAT members (and others close to the potential crisis) are asked to meet.
- If a coordinated strategy is needed, it is then created and a situation contact is assigned.
- The Chair then implements the plan.
- If the plan is successful, documentation is created outlining the success of the plan. In the event the plan is not successful, the BAT reconvenes to structure a new approach.