USM’s Assistance and Care Team (ACT)

What is ACT?

USM’s ACT is a network of student support professionals serving as a resource for faculty, staff, and students to identify students of concern who may benefit from a coordinated response.

The mission of ACT, also referred to as BIT (Behavioral Intervention Team) is to promote and support the health and safety of the USM community by sharing information, coordinating services, and developing support plans for students of concern. The Team is focused on early intervention to promote student success and the prevention of harm and/or disruption to the community. ACT reviews concerns regarding student medical issues, mental health or disruptive behaviors. In the event of a real or perceived threat of violence ACT or a subset of ACT will be called upon to conduct a threat assessment. ACT weekly meetings provide a forum for professional consultation and collaboration regarding significant student concerns.

Behaviors of Concern; signs that may indicate a student is in distress

  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems and/or loss
  • Angry or hostile outbursts, yelling, or aggressive comments/behavior
  • More withdrawn or animated than usual or in past
  • Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness; crying or tearfulness
  • Expressions of severe anxiety or irritability
  • Excessively demanding or dependent behavior
  • Lack of response to outreach from instructors, professors or other staff
  • Shakiness, tremors, fidgeting, or pacing
  • Deterioration in physical appearance, personal hygiene, or personal space
  • Excessive fatigue, exhaustion; falling asleep in class repeatedly
  • Visible changes in weight; statements about change in appetite or sleep
  • Noticeable cuts, bruises, burns, or self-injury
  • Frequent or chronic illness
  • Disorganized, rapid, or slurred speech or confusion
  • Unusual inability to make eye contact
  • Attending class, lab or events bleary-eyed, smelling of alcohol or marijuana
  • Violent or aggressive behavior or threats directed at self, others, animals, property, etc.
  • Statements indicating the person will be going away for a long time or no need to put up with them much longer, etc., suicide ideation, or attempt

There is no wrong way to connect with ACT; a hunch or gut-level reaction that something is not right is often the first warning sign! Please contact a member of ACT whenever you feel a student may be in distress.

To refer a concern to ACT/BIT, contact any member of the Team or click here to fill out a Student of Concern Report.

ACT/BIT Team Members: