Section: Behavioral Review and Recommendation Team


Behaviors suggesting a person in distress

  • Hostile, aggressive, or otherwise disruptive behavior
  • Talking or writing about suicide or homicide
  • Evidence of self-harming behavior
  • Inability to communicate clearly
  • Disjointed thoughts, garbled or slurred speech, loss of contact with reality
  • Unexplained crying, irritability, anxiety, or anger
  • Beliefs or actions at odds with reality; seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Significant lowering of performance
  • Changes in attendance or performance
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Changes in personal hygiene, dress, or appetite
  • Comments idolizing school shooters, etc.

How to help a person in distress


  • Stop what you are doing and genuinely listen to what the person is saying
  • If appropriate, speak to the person privately to minimize embarrassment


  • Be sure the person is aware that you cannot keep expressions of harm to self or others confidential
  • Express concern and interest and let the person know you are listening
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental
  • Remember, althought it may not seem like a crisis to you, it still feels like one to the person


  • Ask open-ended questions to help you better understand and clarify the problem
  • Consider questions like, "What have you thought about doing?" or "Have you had thoughts about suicide?"
  • Explore options with the person, but don't expect to have all the answers


  • Don't ignore comments about suicide, violence, or harm to self or others
  • Clarify the limits of your ability to help
  • Offer to accompany the person to the appropriate support office
  • Do not agree to keep the problem a secret
For urgent situations that are not emergencies, call UW-Platteville University Police 24/7 atĀ 608.342.1584. For emergencies, callĀ 911.

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