Office of the Dean of Students staff work collaboratively with partners across campus to support students through whatever challenges they may be facing. We help students connect with the resources appropriate to their individual needs and consult with staff and faculty who are concerned about a student.
What to do in an emergency situation:
If you believe there may be imminent danger of harm to a student or someone else, immediately call the Boston College Police Department (BCPD) for assistance at 617–552–44444; if you are off campus, dial 911. If you need help in assessing the situation, call the University Counseling Services at 617–552–3310 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; after 5 p.m. contact BCPD at 617–552–4440.
Once the emergency situation has been addressed, you should still report your concern to the Student Outreach and Support Team at 617-552-3470 or submit an online report.
What to do in a non-emergency situation
If you do not think that there is an immediate threat to someone's safety, and you would like to speak with someone regarding a student of concern please contact the Student Outreach and Support Team in the Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) at 617-552-3470. You can also submit an online report regarding a student of concern here:
Case Management Learning Outcomes
Students who participate in Case Management services will:
- Be able to identify on and off campus support and resources.
- Students will understand how and why to access support and resources.
- Students will report feeling more comfortable accessing support and resources.
- Students will be able to identify people and places in their life that are supportive to them.
As faculty and staff at BC, you may be the first to recognize the signs of a student who is struggling, in distress, or in a state of crisis. These signs often become evident on campus, in the classroom, and in the residence halls. You may notice a significant drop in a student’s academic investment, increasing isolation from peers, or you may simply be present when a student decides to share his or her struggles. Students may initially seek assistance from faculty and staff members as they can be perceived as available and willing to listen. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the signs and symptoms of distress and know how to respond and refer students to the appropriate department for assistance.
What Do Signs of Distress or Mental Health Crisis Look Like? How can I help?
It is important to recognize when someone is having difficulty and to intervene before it becomes a crisis. If a student is already exhibiting signs of being in a state of crisis, it is important to respond appropriately.
Signs to be aware of
It is common for students to feel distress at one time or another due to difficulties with adjustment, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, and relationship problems and may exhibit symptoms such as depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and more. There are warning signs when symptoms of distress persist over time and may suggest that the problem may be a cause for concern.
A crisis is a situation in which an individual’s usual style of coping is no longer effective, and the emotional or physiological response begins to escalate.
Knowing the severity of a student’s distress is important to providing the best response and support.
Signs of Distress
Changes in academic performance
Changes in attendance at class or meetings
Depressed or lethargic mood
Hyperactivity and/or rapid speech
Withdrawal from friends or daily activities
Marked change in personal habits
Repeatedly falling asleep in class
Behavior that pushes the limits of decorum and that interferes with the educational environment
Physical signs such as immobilization, shaking, agitation, and aggression
Signs of a Mental Health Crisis
Destruction of property or other criminal acts
Extreme anxiety resulting in panic reactions
Inability to communicate
Suicidal statements or attempts
Loss of contact with reality or highly irrational thinking
Highly disruptive behavior
Confused and repetitive thinking
Fighting or assaultive behavior
Physical signs such as immobilization, shaking, agitation, and aggression
Deterioration in quality of work
Missed assignments or appointments
Repeated requests for unusual accommodations such as late papers, extensions, postponed exams, etc.
Papers or essays that have themes of hopelessness, social isolation, rage, or despair
Lack of engagement in participation-oriented classes
Repeated absence from class or lab
What You Can Do for a Student in Distress or Crisis
If you choose to approach a student you are concerned about or if a student seeks you out, here are some suggestions:
- Talk to the student in private when both of you have time and are not rushed or preoccupied.
- Be direct and specific. Express your concern in behavioral, nonjudgmental terms. For example, say, “You look stressed. I’m concerned about you. Can you tell me what is going on?”
- Listen sensitively.
- Be aware of resources and share information about appropriate resources with the student.
- Follow up. Check with the student later to find out how the student is doing. Provide support as appropriate.
If you feel that there is an emergency situation, or a student may be an immediate threat to themselves or others, please contact BCPD at 617-552-4444. Reporting your concern
Reporting your concern
The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) serves as the central office on campus for staff, faculty, students and other community members to report concern about a student. If you are concerned about a student, please contact us through our online Student of Concern Reporting Form or by calling us at 617-552-3470. You can also refer a student directly to the DOS Team at 617-552-3470.
Even if a student reports concerning information from before their time at BC, you should still report this to the DOS team. Of particular concern is students reporting a history of a significant mental health concerns, hospitalizations and/or suicide attempt(s).
Please note that if you are concerned about someone's immediate safety, please call the Boston College Police Department (BCPD) at 617–552–4444.
Reporting your concern to the DOS Team ensures that students are able to access coordinated care and support and provides documentation of both the concern about the student and any support provided to the student.
If you are concerned about someone's immediate safety, please call the Boston College Police Department (BCPD) at 617–552–4444.
The following is information about counseling, medical, and personal assistance resources that you could provide to a student.
University Counseling Services
Gasson Hall 001 | www.bc.edu/counseling
University Counseling Services (UCS) is located in Gasson 001 617-552-3310. UCS offers individual counseling, consultation, and group counseling for many types of concerns, including eating disorders, sexual assault, depression and stress management. The staff of UCS includes counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. Counseling is available free of charge to all full-time Boston College students.
Appointments can be made by phone by calling (617) 552-3310 to speak with the Administrative Assistant, or in person by stopping by our office and ask to make an appointment. Please bring your BC ID. Please note that you cannot make an appointment for another person.
For psychological emergencies there is a psychologist-on-call 24 hours a day. Regular working hours are 8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, call (617) 552-3310. After office hours and weekends call (617) 552-3227. This is the Primary Care Center on 2150 Commonwealth Avenue (the ground floor of the Thomas More Apartments). Ask to speak to the Psychologist-on-Call. If the Primary Care Center is closed, call the BC Police at (617) 552-4444 and ask to speak to the Psychologist-on-Call.
Maloney Hall | www.bc.edu/wc | 617-552-3489
The Women's Center (WC) is an advocacy collaborative focused on women and gender issues that provides the Boston College community with: a forum to discuss contemporary social topics through empowering educational programs; nurturing peer-to-peer support groups; and outreach awareness campaigns.
The Women's Center is under the umbrella of The Office of Health Promotion, which directs programs and services that foster the health and well-being of all members of the Boston College community. The Health Promotion team is comprised of health educators and student volunteers who work collaboratively to advance healthy living habits on campus. The Office of Health Promotion provides information on a range of topics related to student health, including: stress management, alcohol and drug use, nutritional health, sexual health, bystander intervention education, prevention of relationship violence, LGBTQ health issues, and more.
Sexual Assault Network | www.bc.edu/sanet | 617-552-2211
The Boston College Sexual Assault Network (or SANet) provides support and resources to any Boston College student affected by sexual assault, rape, relationship violence, and other related crimes. SANet’s services are free and confidential and can be accessed 24 hours a day by calling (617) 552-BC11.
University Health Services
2150 Commonwealth Ave. | www.bc.edu/uhs | 617-552-3225
University Health Services offers nutrition counseling, basic health services including women's health evaluations and resources for physical assessments. The Center is accessible 24 hours a day. Appointments are available Monday through Friday in the Outpatient Unit. After hours, students can be evaluated for urgent problems in our Inpatient Unit. Please call with questions or to schedule an appointment.
McElroy 233 | www.bc.edu/ministry | 617-552-3475
True to its Catholic and Jesuit character, Boston College Campus Ministers, in alliance with its strong corps of Resident and Peer Ministers, provide pastoral support to any and all students enrolled at Boston College who are dealing with issues of faith, vocation, stress, loneliness, sickness, relationships, grief, loss and matters of spiritual and emotional well-being. If in need of any of these services, Campus Ministry encourages you to stop by its main office at McElroy 233 or call us at 617-552-3475
Maloney Hall 413 | www.bc.edu/reslife | 617-552-3060
The Office of Residential Life at Boston College seeks to foster an inclusive residential community that complements the academic mission of the University. The hall staff offers programs and leadership opportunities designed to promote responsible decision making and personal accountability. The Resident Assistants and Resident Directors are located in the halls to provide educational, developmental, social, and spiritual support to our students. Resident Assistants are available each evening on a rotating basis in each hall. There is always a Resident Directors and a senior administrator on call during the year. You can reach your hall staff by calling the main office number during the week at (617) 552-3060 or stopping by your floor's Resident Assistant's room. Contact information is also posted in each building on a main bulletin board.
Boston College Police Department (BCPD)
Maloney Hall 1st Floor | Emergency 617-552-4444 |Non-Emergency 617-552-4440 | www.bc.edu/bcpd
If you need help in dealing with a situation or you believe there may be imminent danger of harm to a student or someone else, as evidenced by several crisis symptoms, immediately call the Boston College Police Department (BCPD) for assistance at 617-552-4444. Administrator on Call (via BCPD): 617-552-4440. Psychologist on Call, Emergency: 617-552-3227.
The Behavioral Evaluation Team
The Behavioral Evaluation Team (BET) is a multidisciplinary group of staff and faculty that serve as the central hub of information regarding students who may be in distress or crisis and/or who are displaying concerning behaviors. In its work, the BET stresses prevention and early intervention with students and works to coordinate the resources of the University in order to develop support strategies for students. The goal of the BET is to improve the overall well-being and safety of individual students and the campus community.
When a student demonstrates behavior that poses a serious and imminent health or safety risk and/or demonstrates behavior that is significantly disruptive to the University learning environment, the BET makes an individualized assessment of the matter. The BET may then recommend to the Dean of Students or designee a range of responses and support strategies that include, but are not limited to:
- Outreach to the student to provide direct support;
- Refer to on campus support resources and/or case management;
- Mandate a medical/ psychological assessment and that the student adhere to treatment recommendations from any such assessment;
- Modify campus housing placements to limit further disruptions of the residential community, which may include relocation in campus housing, separation from campus housing, and/or conditions on remaining or returning to campus housing;
- Institute an interim administrative action(s); and
- Recommend or require a leave of absence.
The Office of Student Outreach and Support Services, or designee, reviews any recommendations of the Behavioral Evaluation Team, makes a determination about what, if any, measures are appropriate, and oversees the implementation of any recommendations of the BET.