Colleges and universities have so many programs available that most faculty, staff and students go through their whole careers never learning about all of the options available to them. However, given today’s climate, the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) at Millersville University, formally known as the Threat Assessment Team (TAT), is one of those options that is useful to learn about.
TAT was created at Millersville in 2008, but underwent a name change in 2017. The name was changed to the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), because it more clearly reflects the team’s mission and role. It serves as a clearinghouse for information related to those in the MU community who have demonstrated behaviors of concern.
“As a clearinghouse, information is collected and disseminated to the BIT team so that an appropriate intervention can be implemented,” says Dr. Kelsey Backels, mental health consultant of BIT, professor and chair, Department of Counseling and Human Development and director of the Counseling Center.
The Behavioral Intervention Team addresses situations where students, faculty or staff are displaying, concerning, disruptive or threatening behaviors that might potentially impede their own or others’ ability to function successfully or safely. By identifying persons whose behaviors potentially endanger their own or others’ health and safety, the team can intervene and evaluate the individual.
Why does BIT exist? The team’s focus is learning about the precursor behaviors and low-level concerning acts that indicate a baseline and pattern. The team assists in addressing and responding to incidents of concerning behavior indicating a student, faculty or staff member poses a risk to self or others.
“The Behavioral Intervention Team is another way to keep our campus community safe,” says Tom Richardson, chair of BIT and associate vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
Reports can be made by searching the MU website for BIT. Community members can also call the BIT phone number 717-871-7070. Reports that are made will be directed to the team so that the process of information gathering can begin.
For more information on the BIT, visit Behavioral Intervention Team.