M State CARE Team

M State’s vision is “A success story for every student.” To achieve this vision, we must pay attention to the mental, emotional and physical concerns of students and respond to those concerns with compassion, support and respect.

While the college has many departments and services that respond to student needs,  students sometimes don't ask for help when they need it. To help identify and assist those students in need, M State created a network of college personnel who are committed to a caring and confidential identification, intervention and response.

This network, called the CARE Team, meets regularly to discuss students exhibiting high-risk behaviors.

The mission of the CARE Team is to:

  • Assist in protecting the health, safety and welfare of M State students
  • Support student success
  • Provide a comprehensive response to students whose behavior is disruptive to themselves or the campus environment

The CARE Team is one of several M State resources available to address student concerns. Others include the dean of student affairs, counselors, college social workers, accessibility resources staff and the Title IX coordinator.

How can I refer a student to the CARE Team?

To refer a student to the CARE Team, file an online referral regarding the student that will ask for information regarding the student and a brief narrative of the behavior. If you are concerned about a student but have not witnessed any concerning or disruptive behavior, please explain your concern in detail.  

What happens when a student is referred?

Once the CARE Team receives a referral, team members will assess the report to identify an action plan that will best serve the student’s needs and individual circumstances. This may include connecting the student with appropriate support services and resources or reaching out to appropriate faculty/staff who may be able to assist with identified supportive measures.  

The reporting party will be followed up with as needed. For questions regarding the CARE Team, please contact the office of the dean of student affairs at 218.299.6535 during business hours or email shawn.anderson@minnesota.edu.

The CARE Team referral form is a way to identify and initiate outreach and support to students on their behalf.  

A crisis or emergency involving an M State student should be reported to local authorities by dialing 911 and then contacting the Supervisor in Charge for that campus.

Recognizing students in distress

At one time or another it’s safe to say 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 One
  • 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 Two
  • Repeated requests 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 Three
  • 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)
  • Suspicious, irrational feelings of persecution
  • Statements related to death or dying or feelings of hopelessness
  • Threats of harming self or harming others

Note:  Any time you feel there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, please dial 911 for assistance.

Responses to Level One and Two behaviors

  • Talk to 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/self-harm
  • 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 Three behaviors

  • Stay calm
  • Stay with the student or find someone to stay with the student if possible
  • Call 911 (or have someone else call 911) if there is an immediate risk of harm to self or others. Otherwise contact:
    • An M State counselor
    • Campus lead contact
    • Dean of student affairs         

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) dial 911 for assistance.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour service that provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources. Dial 1.800.273.8255 to reach the Lifeline.

To save a life, remember QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)

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

 

Submit a referral to the CARE Team here.