Student and University Life

Student Assistance and Care Team (ACT)

What is ACT?

 The mission of USM's Student Assistance and Care Team (ACT) 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.

 The Team reviews concerns regarding student medical, mental health, or behavioral concerns.  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 (Mondays at 10 AM during the academic year) provide a forum for professional consultation and collaboration regarding significant student concerns.  


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


        1.         Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, and/or loss

        2.         Angry or hostile outbursts, yelling, or aggressive comments/behavior

        3.         More withdrawn or animated than usual or in the past

        4.         Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness; crying or tearfulness

        5.         Expressions of severe anxiety or irritability

        6.         Excessively demanding or dependent behavior

        7.         Lack of response to outreach from instructors, professors or other staff

        8.         Shakiness, tremors, fidgeting, or pacing

        9.         Deterioration in physical appearance, person hygiene, or personal space

        10.       Excessive fatigue, exhaustion; falling asleep in class repeatedly

        11.       Visible changes in weight; statements about change in appetite or sleep

        12.       Noticeable cuts, bruises, or burns, or self-injury

        13.       Frequent or chronic illness

        14.       Disorganized speech, rapid or slurred speech, confusion

        15.       Unusual inability to make eye contact

        16.       Coming to class, lab or events bleary-eyed or smelling of alcohol

        17.       Violent behavior in and/or out of class (throwing things, hitting people, destruction

                       of property, etc.)

         18.       Direct or veiled threats of harm (previous or current) to self or others

         19.       Concern expressed by co-worker, student, peers, instructors, etc.

          20.       A hunch or gut-level reaction that something is not right or is wrong

          21.       Physical or verbal aggression or threats directed at self, others, animals, 

                         property, etc.

          22.       Statements indicating the person will be going away for a long time, or no

                         need to put up with them for much longer, etc., suicide ideation, or attempt


To refer a concern to ACT, contact any member of the Team:




Contact Info

Joy Pufhal, Chair

Executive Director of Student and Univsersity Life & Dean of Students




Lisa Belanger

Director of Health Services


Joanne Benica

Director of Disabilities Services Center


Kevin Conger

Director Public Safety


Rodney Mondor

Coordinator of Student Success


Bob Small

Director of Counseling Services


Jason Saucier

Director of Student and University Life


Situations for which there is reasonable cause to suspect that there is imminent risk to the health and safety should be immediately reported to USM Public Safety at 207-780-5211.  Public Safety will dispatch necessary emergency responders and will consult with University Counseling Center staff as appropriate and will notify the Dean of Students/Executive Director of Student Life and/or her designee as quickly as practicable and in accordance with the notification policy.