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Dealing with Mental Health Issues on Campus Starts with Early Recognition and Intervention

NCJ Number
Campus Law Enforcement Journal Volume: 41 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2011 Pages: 22,23,28
Jeff Futo
Date Published
June 2011
3 pages
In encouraging early recognition and intervention for college students and staff with mental health disorders, this article offers training recommendations and reviews reporting mechanisms.
The article advises that anyone planning to train faculty and staff about mental health issues on campus should provide them with more than just general information about signs of mental illness and referral resources The training should be personalized with actual cases so as to motivate faculty and staff to report incidents they believe to indicate problem behaviors. The training must focus on behavior rather diagnoses of mental disorder. Efforts to provide appropriate help should not stigmatize people who have a mental disorder or take psychotropic medication. University police departments might consider establishing a Crisis Intervention Team that is specifically trained to deal with behaviors stemming from mental illness and people who may require early intervention. Regarding reporting mechanisms, Kent State University has three. "The Faculty Referral: Early Alert Program" is a proactive system for faculty to partner with other campus departments and resources to reach out to students identified as having difficulties. This mechanism allows a faculty member to make a referral to someone who may be more adept at handling the situation with the student. The Office of the Student Ombuds at Kent State University assists students in resolving issues/complaints and deals with students with obvious mental health needs. Student Ombuds act as the primary student advocate and provide crisis management for the university community. Student Ombuds believes that faculty and staff reporting is essential for maintaining the university's ability to respond to critical incidents and monitor the campus environment. The Kent State University Police Department provides professional and progressive police services to its community. Forty-four percent of the officers participate on the Crisis Intervention Team.


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