Emergency Management – September: Behavioral Intervention Report Team (BIRT)

What is the purpose of the Team?

The Behavioral Intervention Report Team is a group of college officials, including mental health staff, that meets on a regular basis to consult and intervene early and provide support and behavioral response to students displaying varying levels of disruptive, disturbed, distressed and/or dysregulated behaviors.

In addition, the BIRT team is a resource designed for the supervisor or department manager in assessing warning signs and potential threats from students and suggests possible strategies in response to acts of intimidation or threats of violence.

How do I convene the Team?

If you are a supervisor, faculty member or manager, you may call Human Resources to discuss the situation, or you may notify any member of the Behavioral Intervention Response Team (BIRT). Any member of BIRT may convene a team meeting if s/he thinks a situation warrants such action. The Team will meet with the supervisor, department manager and others, if necessary, to gather information, evaluate the situation, and to recommend resources and action that may be appropriate.

Warning Signs

There is no exact method to predict when a person will become violent. One or more of these warning signs may be displayed before a person becomes violent, but they do not necessarily indicate that an individual will become violent. A display of these signs should trigger concern as they are usually exhibited by people experiencing problems.

  • Verbal, nonverbal, or written threats – or intimidation, explicit or subtle
  • Fascination with weaponry and/or acts of violence – carrying a concealed weapon
  • Expression of a plan to hurt self/others
  • Feelings of persecution, expressed distrust, especially with management
  • Fear reaction to employee among coworkers/clients
  • Expression of extreme desperation over family, financial or personal problems
  • Frequent interpersonal conflicts
  • Unable to take criticism of job performance
  • Displays of unwarranted anger
  • Moral righteousness – believing the organization is not following its rules
  • Violence toward inanimate objects
  • Sabotaging projects, computer programs or equipment
  • Holding a grudge against a specific person; verbalizing a hope that something will happen to him/her

Those who witness these warning signs are strongly encouraged to inform their supervisors or faculty member. Managers and supervisors are encouraged to consult with the Behavioral Intervention Report Team (BIRT) to attempt to prevent a difficult situation from escalating into violence. If a staff or faculty member feels that they are encountering an emergency situation on campus, they are asked to call 911 before consulting the BIRT team.

 

This information along with a comprehensive list of other topics can be found at: https://intranet.nmc.edu/depts/emergency-mngt-plan/