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University of North Texas

Division of Student Affairs

 

CARE Team

The University of North Texas cares about our students' success, not only academically, but emotionally and physically. Because of our commitment, we provide literally hundreds of departments and services across campus that respond to our students' unique needs. But sometimes, students do not ask for help when they need it. So in an effort to identify those students proactively, UNT has created a network of professionals from across campus that are committed to a caring, confidential program of identification, intervention and response in order to provide our students with the greatest chance of success and our community with the greatest level of protection.

UNT believes it is important to foster an environment that encourages students to maintain a standard of responsibility for self-care which includes the ability to respond adequately to one's emotional, physical, and educational needs. Some students who are distressed engage in behaviors that compromise their own welfare, as well as the welfare of the university community.

The presence of demonstrated distress, disruptive or dangerous student behavior can be a predictor of future harm to self, others, and the larger UNT community. While we acknowledge that no one can predict with any degree of confidence whether a student will eventually progress to acts that are harmful to themselves or others, there are behaviors indicative of higher risk. These behaviors may require further assessment by appropriate professionals to promote the safety of the student and UNT community.

We created this website to accomplish the following:

  • Educate you about the CARE Team and how it works;
  • Provide you with information and tips about how to deal with incidents you may encounter;
  • Provide additional resources on our campus and in our community.

If you have any questions or concerns for the CARE Team about a student or an incident, contact a CARE Team Chair or another member.

Mission

The mission of the CARE Team is to:

  • Assist in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the students and members of the UNT community.
  • Support student success.
  • Provide a comprehensive response to students whose behavior is disruptive to themselves or the environment.

The CARE Team is one of several resources available to the campus community to address these concerns. Other offices with similar purposes include Dean of Students, Counseling and Testing Services, UNT Police Department, and the Office of Disability Accommodation.

Department Phone Number CARE Representative
(if applicable)
Student Affairs—AVP Office (Chair) (940) 565-2648 Dr. Maureen McGuinness
Counseling and Testing Services (940) 565-2741 Dr. Tamara Knapp-Grosz
Dean of Students (940) 565-2648 or
(940) 565-2039
 
Equity and Diversity    
Graduate Studies (940) 565-2383  
Housing & Residence Life (940) 565-2610 Gina Vanacore
Human Resources (940) 565-2281 Kate Vardell, Mason Bentley
International Education (940) 565-2197  
Office of Disability Accommodations (940) 565-4323  
Provost's Office   Dr. Christy Crutsinger
Student Health & Wellness Center    
Student Legal Services    
UNT Police (940) 565-3000 Chief Ed Reynolds

 

What is the CARE Team?

The CARE Team is a collaborative interdisciplinary committee of University officials that meets regularly to discuss students exhibiting behaviors indicative of high risk.

How can I refer a student to the CARE Team?

To refer a student to the CARE Team, you can email careteam@unt.edu the following information : the name of the student and a brief narrative of their behavior. If you are concerned about a student, but have not witnessed any distressing or disruptive behavior, please explain your concern in detail.

What happens when a student is referred?

Once the CARE Team receives a referral, an email with the student's name and student's number is sent to all CARE Team representatives prior to our weekly meeting. During the meeting, we discuss the incident or concern that was reported, and each member is asked for additional information that may have been collected through their area of expertise. The CARE Team then creates a plan for the student and designates a contact person that will handle the situation. At each CARE Team meeting, updates are given regarding previously mentioned students. Counseling and Testing Services are available to the CARE Team for consultation, but are unable to share confidential information about student health and mental health in accordance with federal and state law. Information about a student that is already a client of Counseling Services cannot be shared at the CARE Team meetings without written authorization by the student or in an emergency situation where someone's health, welfare or safety are at risk.

 

 

Tips for Recognizing Students in Distress

At one time or another everyone feels upset or distressed. However, there are three levels of student distress which, when present over a period of time, suggest that the problems are more than the "normal" ones.

Level 1

  • Changes in academic performance in the classroom
  • Significant drop in examination scores
  • Change in pattern of interaction
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Problems concentrating and remembering things or making decisions

Level 2

  • Repeated request for special consideration
  • New or regularly occurring behavior which pushes the limits and may interfere with class
  • Management or be disruptive to other students, faculty or staff
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses
  • Persistent sadness or unexplained crying
  • High levels of irritability or inappropriate excitement

Level 3

  • Highly disturbed behavior
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Inability to communicate clearly
  • Irrational conversation or speech that seems disconnected
  • Loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing things that are not there, beliefs or actions at odds with reality)
  • Suspiciousness, irrational feelings of persecution
  • Statements related to death or dying or feelings of hopelessness
  • Threats of harming self or harming others

What Can You Do to Help

NOTE: If at any time you feel there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, the UNT Police Department should be contacted at (940) 565-3000.

Responses to Level 1 and 2 Behavior

  • Talk to the student in private when you both have time
  • Express your concern in non-judgmental terms
  • Listen to the student and repeat the gist of what the student is saying
  • Identify options available to the student
  • Clarify the costs and benefits of each option for handling the problem from the student's point of view
  • Respect the student's value system
  • Ask if the student is considering suicide
  • Make appropriate referrals if necessary
  • Make sure the student understands what action is necessary and make plans to follow-up with the student on this action

Responses to Level 3 Behavior

Responding to Suicidal Concerns

When a student makes any reference to suicide, threat of suicide, or attempt at suicide, a judgment should be made by a mental health professional about the seriousness of a possible suicidal thought or behavior. Suicide attempts are first and foremost a medical emergency. If danger or suicidal behavior appears imminent: 1) Stay calm and 2) Contact Campus Police at 940-565-3000 or dial 911.

To Save a Life, Remember QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer)

  • Question the person about suicide
  • Persuade the person to get help
  • Refer for help

When a student's behavior goes beyond the normal classroom disturbances and appears distressed, you can contact the CARE Team for assistance. We will evaluate the circumstances and determine the appropriate plan of action for the student.

Referring a Student to the CARE Team

To refer a student to the CARE Team, you can contact any CARE Team representative with the name of the student and a brief narrative of their behavior. If you are concerned about a student, but have not witnessed any distressing or disruptive behavior, please explain your concern in detail.

The CARE Team meets regularly throughout the year, and will review your referral at the next meeting. If a situation requires immediate attention, an emergency CARE Team meeting can be called at the determination of a CARE Team chair. All the representatives will have the opportunity to investigate any other information available about the student through their appropriate discipline prior to the meeting. Be assured that the CARE Team exists to care for our students, and will handle your referral in a professional manner in an effort to best meet the needs of the UNT community and our students.