Consultation – Assessment – Referral – Education

The CARE Team at Kent State University at Geauga exists to gather isolated concerns in one location to be examined as possible patterns of behavior and to coordinate a supportive, positive outreach toward students with concerning behavior when appropriate. The cross-functional team prefers to take a proactive approach, focusing on early interventions toward distressing student behavior in an attempt to change the behavior before the situation escalates.

Mission Statement:  The CARE Team is committed to helping students at risk to themselves or others or that display behavior that causes emotional stress or disruption in the campus community.

The CARE Team will make its best effort to evaluate and respond to each submitted concern. However, the CARE Team is not a law enforcement agency. All emergency matters should be reported immediately to 91, and all criminal or safety matters should be reported immediately to your local police or to university personnel.  

The CARE Team addresses the following:
•    Suicidal behavior
•    Emotional instability
•    Threats of harm to others
•    Severe drug or alcohol-related behavior

Are CARE Team referrals confidential?
All referrals and information discussed related to the referral is confidential.  This means that the information is kept completely separate from academic records, does not have a physical paper trail, and is not accessible by an individual on the campus other than members of the CARE Team. The identities of individuals who submit a referral are kept confidential by the members of the CARE Team; however, once the CARE Team reaches out to the student, the student may be able to identify the person making the referral. Keeping referrals is important to each member of the CARE Team in order to respect the privacy of all individuals involved and to allow individuals to feel comfortable in making a referral.

How do I make a referral to CARE Team?
There are two primary ways to make a referral to CARE Team:

  • Preferred Method: Submit an Online CARE Referral Form.  When you complete the form, please fill in as much information and detail as you can as this will assist the CARE Team in evaluating the referral properly.
  • Contact any CARE Team member.

Will I know what happens with my referral?
If you include your e-mail address when you submit a referral to CARE, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that your referral was received and will be reviewed.  In some situations, you may be contacted by a CARE Team member for additional information. The CARE Team will perform an outreach based on your referral without providing information about the outcome of that outreach, although there may be some situations in which you will remain involved as part of the outreach from the referral.  

What is My Role?
As a student, staff or faculty member, you are in a good position to spot someone who may be emotionally distressed. While some of this is to be expected, especially during stressful times of the year, you might notice someone acting in a way that is inconsistent with your normal experiences with that person. You may be able to be a resource in times of trouble. Your expression of interest and concern may be a critical factor in helping the individual re-establish emotional equilibrium. You may also be able to alert the University so that appropriate intervention can be made.  

Submission Guidelines
Examples of concerning behavior can include, but are not limited to:

  • Erratic behavior that is distracting and/or disruptive to the learning environment, in the classroom, or elsewhere on campus (including online activities)
  • Violations of personal space both physically and via communications
  • Implied or direct threat of harm to themselves or others
  • Displaying or talking about what is thought to be a weapon or something to be used for harm or disruption
  • Physical or verbal confrontation or discomforting statements
  • Stalking or harassment behavior towards a faculty member or student
  • Bizarre or odd behavior
  • Threatening, aggressive, or hostile communications (verbal and/or electronic)
  • Clearly noticeable changes in behavior, demeanor, dress, or personality from what was previously “typical” for that individual

The “Do’s”

  • DO speak with the student privately.
  • DO let him or her know that you are concerned about his or her welfare.
  • DO express your concern in behavioral, nonjudgmental terms.
  • DO tell him or her you are willing to help.
  • DO listen carefully to what he or she is troubled about.
  • DO help him or her explore options.
  • DO suggest resources.
  • DO make a referral to the appropriate campus department.
  • DO point out that help is available and seeking such help is a sign of strength and courage, rather than of weakness or failure.
  • DO respect the person’s value system, even if you do not agree with it.
  • DO maintain clear and consistent boundaries and expectations.
  • DO recognize your limits.
  • DO document the interactions or incident.

The “Don’ts”

  • DON’T promise confidentiality.
  • DON’T judge or criticize.
  • DON’T ignore the usual behavior.
  • DON’T make the problems your own.
  • DON’T involve yourself beyond the limits of your time and skill.

Other Resources

  • Step Up & Speak Out - Kent State University suicide and violence prevention resources
  • Mental Health Screening - Mental health is a key part of your overall health. Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional - they are a checkup from your neck up. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire, you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources.

Sheriff Department
Geauga County – 440-564-7131 
Summit County – 330-643-2154

Some materials adapted from The Ohio State University