As Campus Community Faculty & Staff, you may be one of the first people to recognize that a student is experiencing some kind of difficulty. Noticing some kind of distress can be overwhelming as you may not be sure what you should do or how to best help your student, yourself, or the rest of your students. We hope that the following information will help to provide you with a sense of clarity and support.
In such instances there is no need to feel as though you must investigate the situation, diagnose a student, or provide counseling. Your role in this kind of situation is to follow the guidelines that have been implemented by the University’s Threat Assessment and Safety Committee (TASC). Your contribution helps the Committee come together to provide the student, yourself, and the campus community the help and safety needed to address and remedy the concerning situation. Crises are often the result of distress brewing over time. Early intervention can be the key to addressing a student’s needs as soon as possible. This makes your contribution to the process vital and much appreciated.
The TASC utilizes the following categories (the 4 Ds) to distinguish different kinds of concerning behavior. The 4Ds are provided as a guide. There may be situations that do not fit neatly into one of these categories. In such a case, please contact the Academic Dean or Department Chair, the Counseling Center Director, or Associate Chancellor for Student Life, Gerald Massenburg, for consultation and support. To report a concern, please use the Maxient system.
The 4Ds of TASC
Definitions of the 4Ds:
Distressed behavior causes concern for the person's well-being.
Disturbed behavior may be highly inappropriate, irrational, delusional, and makes others uncomfortable.
Disruptive behavior interrupts the classroom or work environment and represents an escalation or "acting out" of distress or inner disturbance.
Dangerous behavior threatens the safety and well-being of others.
Examples of Each of the 4Ds
Highly anxious, agitated, panicky
Chronic rules violations
Threatening: verbal, non-verbal, written
Disruptive with substance abuse, mental health
When confronted with any of these situations what should you do?