Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

Northeastern Junior College cares about the safety, health, and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, and community. The NJC Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) was established to promote and maintain the safety and well-being of the campus community through positive, proactive, and practical risk assessment and intervention.

Reasons for Reporting an Incident

You should refer individuals who are exhibiting behaviors that pose a threat to safety or that cause a significant disruption to the NJC community. Signs to look for include:

  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Suicide ideation or attempt
  • Danger or threat to others (violence, threats, or implied threats of violence and intimidation)
  • Possession of a weapon
  • Inability of an individual to take care of themselves (serious mental health concerns or substance abuse).
  • Erratic behavior that is disruptive to the normal proceedings of the college community.

If you believe your referral requires more immediate attention, please call Steve Smith, Vice President of Student Success, at (970) 521-6657 or Cindy Carey, Counselor at (970) 521-6656

NOTE: In cases where an individual's behavior poses an imminent threat to you or another, contact 911 immediately!

Why should I be concerned?

As the eyes and ears of our community, it is everyone’s responsibility to take action and assist those individuals who show any type of behavior that could threaten their own safety or the well-being of the NJC community. We all play a vital role in ensuring the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

The BIT strongly encourages you to utilize its referral services to better serve and enhance our community. Please know the success of this process hinges on community commitment of reporting concerns.

What should I be concerned about?

The following behaviors can all be important signs of distress. As a member of the NJC community, you may notice an individual exhibiting one or more of the academic, physical, or emotional signs and decide that something is clearly wrong. Or you may have a “gut-feeling” that something is wrong. If the latter is the case, don’t dismiss your feelings or feel that you need to wait for tangible proof that a problem exists. A simple check-in with the individual may help you get a better sense of his/her situation.

Physical signs

  • Falling asleep in class
  • A dramatic change in energy level (either direction)
  • Worrisome changes in hygiene or personal appearance
  • Significant changes in weight
  • Frequent state of alcohol intoxication (i.e., bleary-eyed, hung-over, smelling of alcohol)
  • Noticeable cuts, bruises, or burns on individual

Emotional signs

  • Inappropriate emotional outbursts (unprovoked anger or hostility, sobbing)
  • Agitated behaviors
  • Exaggerated personality traits; more withdrawn or more animated than usual
  • Expressions of hopelessness, fear or worthlessness; themes of suicide, death and
    dying in papers/projects
  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or other difficulties
  • Peer concern about a fellow individual (in class, lab, club)

Academic signs

  • Deterioration in quality/quantity of work
  • A negative change in classroom or research performance (e.g., drop in grades)
  • Missed assignments or exams
  • Repeated absences from class or from research lab
  • Disorganized or erratic performance
  • Decline in enthusiasm in class (e.g., no longer choosing a seat in the front of the room)
  • Student sends frequent, lengthy, “ranting” or threatening types of emails to instructor
  • Continual seeking of special provisions (e.g., late papers, extensions, postponed exams and projects)

It’s possible that any one of these signs, in and of itself, may simply mean that an individual is having an “off” day.

Please note, however, any one serious sign (e.g., a student writes a paper expressing hopelessness and/or thoughts of suicide) or a cluster of smaller signs (e.g., emotional outbursts, repeated absence, a noticeable cut on the arm) may necessitate an intervention.

NOTE: In cases where an individual's behavior poses an imminent threat to you or another, contact 911 immediately!

How do I help?

Please consider the following:

  1. Speaking with the student individually.
  2. Filling out an Incident Report Form.

Show you care and listen.

  1. “I’m concerned about you and noticed you haven’t been sleeping, eating, going to class, etc.”
  2. “How are you feeling?”

Reflect back their feelings and paraphrase:

  1. “What I hear you say is that you are in a great deal of pain and feel hopeless.”
  2. “I’m glad you called.”
  3. Listen with respect. Individuals in distress want understanding and caring.

Ask about suicide directly.

  1. “Sometimes when people feel sad, they have thoughts of killing themselves. Have you had such thoughts?”
  2. “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”
  3. “Have you considered suicide?” “How would you go about it?”
  4. “Do you have a plan?”
  5. Remember, asking about suicide does NOT put the idea in people’s minds.

Get help. Explore options. Offer resources.

  1. “What would help now?” “Who can or who usually helps?” “How can I help?”
  2. Get assistance. Avoid trying to be the only lifeline for this person. Seek out resources even if it means breaking a confidence.
  3. “How would you feel about visiting with a counselor? Let’s call right now.
  4. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK.
  5. Call 911 if this is an acute crisis.

What Not To Do

  1. Do not promise to keep the person’s thoughts of suicide a secret.
  2. Do not leave the person alone.
  3. Do not offer simple solutions.
  4. Do not suggest drugs or alcohol as a solution.

How do I report an incident?

Referrals can be made by completing the electronic Reporting Form. The online form allows for 24-hour reporting; however, please note that referrals may not be handled until the next business day.

If you believe your referral requires more immediate attention, please call Steve Smith, Vice President of Student Success, at (970) 521-6657 or Cindy Carey, Counselor at (970) 521-6676.

NOTE: In cases where an individual's behavior poses an imminent threat to you or another, contact 911 immediately!

What happens when I submit an Incident Report?

The BIT developed a protocol to ensure that critical behavior or mental health issues or incidents are addressed appropriately.

When a referral is submitted, the BIT members immediately receive the report via email. The team evaluates each report. A member of BIT may reach out to the individual of concern to assess any resources needed and collaboratively develop an action plan with the individual to reduce obstacles for their success at NJC. The BIT may also contact the person completing the Incident Report.

BIT members will assist the individual in coordinating with existing campus resources currently being utilized and then works with the individual to monitor progress.

In the event that an individual is perceived to be at risk of harm to self or others, BIT may coordinate with appropriate NJC offices to assist the individual.

BIT may determine that there is no need to take any further action but will monitor the situation and concern.

To report an incident or a situation of concern, thoroughly complete the form found when you click the "Report Incident" button above. Please fill out the form in its entirety. Your completed report will enter a secure database. Information relative to a situation of concern will be reviewed by the BIT and handled confidentially. Conduct violations will be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. The work of the BIT is not intended to replace the current college disciplinary process, and/or faculty classroom management.

Referrals to BIT are confidential

The BIT will take reasonable steps to maintain the privacy of those who make a report to BIT, if requested, but confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. On occasion, due to the nature of the reported concern, the reporter’s identity may be evident to the individual of concern.

Who is on BIT?

The BIT includes the following core members:

Steve Smith
(970) 521-6657

Cindy Carey
(970) 521-6676

Jessica Harder
(970) 521-6721

Maret Felzien 
(970) 521-6619

Chelsea Blumenshine 
(970) 521-6655

Marci Henry 
(970) 521-6617

Kodi Johnson
(970) 521-6695

Trenton Schwarzer
(970) 521-6683  

The primary charges of the BIT are to:

A. Review all referred incidents of actual or potential violence, as soon as reasonably possible: It is recognized that some referrals, by their very nature, will require immediate review and response while others may be dealt with during regular Team meetings.

B. Determine if a threat exists and develop a strategy or plan of action to respond to that threat: The Team will use a fact based assessment process to determine if a threat exists and to develop an appropriate plan of action. Action plans should take into consideration the potential for incidents of targeted violence and should be incident specific.

C. Take appropriate action to implement the plan and mitigate the danger: The Team shall implement the agreed upon action plan and assure that all necessary follow up and documentation is conducted. Any action plan shall make available, and use as needed, a full range of support services including mental health, crisis management, as well as victim services.

Click the link below to visit the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA) website.