The CARE Team

Crisis - Assessment - Referral - Evaluation

Helping students of concern

The Bridgewater State University CARE Team provides guidance and assistance to students who are displaying odd or unusual behaviors, are engaging in other behaviors that may be perceived as being harmful, or who share information that is cause for concern.  The CARE Team accepts referrals and responds to students (and their families, faculty, and staff) when concerns for a student’s health, welfare, and safety are identified.

The CARE Team is not for emergencies.  Referrals are monitored Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please call the Bridgewater State University Police Department at 508-531-1212 from an off campus phone or 911 from any campus phone if there is an immediate threat to a student’s safety or well–being.

The CARE Team also supports members of the university community who interact with these students of concern by assessing and evaluating situations, communicating with individuals involved or impacted by a student’s behavior, and providing referrals and resources to assist and address behavioral concerns.  The CARE Team is committed to educating the university community about existing policies and instructs community members on how to address students of concern.

Make a referral to the CARE Team

Examples of CARE Team referrals

  • There are perceived concerns regarding the mental and/or physical health, welfare, and safety of a student.
  • A student's physical appearance is deteriorating.
  • A student is suffering from or dealing with the side effects of a serious illness.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I consider making a referral?

If you have concerns about a student's behavior or life experiences that do not necessitate and immediate response, you may submit a referral to the CARE Team. For immediate emergencies, contact University Police by call 911 from a campus phone or 508.531.1212.

How can I identify a student in distress?

A student in distress may seem troubled, confused, severely depressed, highly anxious, and/or irritable. These students often lack motivation and/or concentration and may demonstrate bizarre behaviors or have suicidal inclinations.

Warning signs of a student in distress:

  • A sudden change from passing grades to poor performance
  • Excessive absence from a previously consistent attendance
  • Avoidance of participation, anxiety, or dominance of discussions in class
  • Increase or decrease in energy level or sleeping in class
  • Depression, rapid speech, swollen red eyes, or change in personal hygiene
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses that are inappropriate to the situation
  • Highly emotional or repeated requests for special consideration

How should I handle a student in distress?

For students who appear to be in distress, it is appropriate to consider one of the following responses:

  • In the event of an emergency or imminent threat, contact BSU PD immediately at 508-531-1212 or dial 9-1-1 from a campus landline.
  • Deal directly with the behavior or problem according to your established classroom protocol as outlined in the course syllabus.
  • Address the situation on a more personal level, rather than in front of others.
  • Consult with a member of the Counseling Center or a member of the CARE Team.
  • Make a referral to the CARE Team.

How can I identify a student exhibiting disruptive behaviors?

A student who meets this criteria may be engaging in conduct that is visibly disruptive or dangerous and may include verbal or physical threats. In some instances, the student may even make active threats of suicide or be resistant to help when offered.

Warning signs of a student exhibiting disruptive behaviors

A disruptive student exhibits behaviors that signify an obvious crisis that necessitates an emergency intervention.  These problems are the easiest to identify. Examples include:

  • Highly disruptive behavior which may include hostility, aggression towards others, or in serious cases, violent outbursts
  • Garbled or slurred speech with unconnected or disjointed thoughts and rambling
  • Loss of contact with reality such as seeing or hearing things that are not witnessed or heard by others present and may also include holding beliefs or engaging in actions that are not consistent with reality or that a reasonable person would perceive to be probable
  • Stalking behavior or repeated unwelcome advances
  • Inappropriate communications including threatening or intimidating messages, e-mails, or verbal harassment
  • Suicidal ideations expressed verbally or in classroom assignments
  • Threats to harm self or others

How should I respond to a student exhibiting disruptive behavior?

Remain calm and know who to call for help if necessary.

  • If a student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, or acts in a bizarre, highly irrational or disruptive way, contact BSU PD at 508-531-1212 or call 9-1-1 from a landline immediately.
  • If it is safe to do so, find someone to stay with the student while you call for help.
  • Remember that it is not your responsibility to provide professional counseling
  • Your priority is to connect the student with the resource best suited to address the concern

When and how can I refer a student to the Counseling Center?

If a student is noticeably distressed, here are the roles you can play to help them recognize the benefits of counseling services:

  • Recommend the Counseling Center to the student as an available option.
  • Determine the student’s willingness to meet with a representative from the Counseling Center.
  • Reassure the student that it is an act of strength to ask for help and seek assistance.
  • Dispute the myth that only “weak or crazy” people go for counseling for personal help.
  • Remind them that the Counseling Center resources are free and confidential services.
  • Offer to help make the initial contact with the Counseling Center for them.

How can I make a referral to the CARE Team?

Make a referral by:

What happens when a referral is made?

The CARE Team will evaluate the referral and determine the appropriate response. The CARE Team will also notify other university officials as warranted.

CARE Team Members:

Elizabeth Ching-Bush, Chair, Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life and Housing, Email:   Phone: 508.531.1277
Glen Anderson, Deputy Chief of Police, Email:   Phone: 508.531.1212
Tyler Botelho, Case Manager, Email:   Phone: 508.531.2567
Mary Ellis, Assistant Administrative Dean of Academic Affairs, Email:   Phone: 508.531.2860
Eileen Estudante, Director of Student Outreach and Special Programs, Email:   Phone: 508.531.1276
Lauren Folloni, Executive Director, Academic Achievement Center, Email:   Phone: 508.531.1214
Chris Frazer, Executive Director of the Wellness Center, Email:   Phone: 508.531.1331
Shelly Keniston, Director of Off-Campus Student Engagement, Transitions and Services, Email:   Phone: 508.531.1277
Justin McCauley, Director of Residence Life and Housing, Email:  Phone: 508.531.1277
Peter Wiernicki, Director of Community Standards, Email:   Phone: 508.531.6177