Student mental health is directly related to academic achievement and degree completion. In a national survey of college students (n = 765), nearly two thirds (64%) of respondents indicated that they suspended their education due to a mental health related condition. Bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety are among the most commonly reported mental health issues that have an impact on student academic performance. As the prevalence of students with mental health and behavioral issues continues to rise, professional staff must adapt their practice to respond to the unique needs of this population. The behavioral intervention team (BIT) is an increasingly common approach to addressing the needs of students and promoting campus safety.
This case study explored the role of student affairs professionals in the context of a BIT and of how they assisted students with mental health and behavioral issues. This study was conducted at a private, liberal arts college on the West Coast. The purpose of this study was to examine how campus policy and practice combine to influence the work of professionals who support students and serve the campus community. Data was gathered from interviews with student affairs professionals and allied support staff (n = 12). Additional data included documents (i.e., manuals, policies, and websites) and participant observations of a BIT meeting. Analysis of data was inductive and produced findings that elaborated on how student affairs professionals assist students and promote safety and wellness in the campus community.
The findings revealed that laws and regulations at the federal level motivated the creation and implementation of policies at the local level. Within the larger system of laws and policies, the BIT members promoted a “Culture of Care” philosophy. The Culture of Care was consistent with the institution’s mission and motivated BIT members to communicate and collaborate across the institution in order to serve students and support campus safety.
|Commitee:||Compliment, Brad, Ortiz, Anna|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational psychology, Counseling Psychology|
|Keywords:||BIT, Behavioral intervention team, Behavioral issues, Mental health issues, Student affairs professionals|
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