ACT Faculty and Staff Resources

As a faculty or a staff member, it is likely that you may be the first point of contact for students reaching out for assistance or support during times of distress. You may also be the first to notice concerning behaviors or red flags in students who are in crisis. The Assessment and Care Team (ACT) believes it is important that you feel comfortable responding to these situations and for you to know how to report theses concerns to the appropriate team. The information provided below should help you navigate Middle Georgia State University’s process for reporting concerns to ACT, provide you with resources, and information on how to respond to students in distress.

While we want to make sure all staff and faculty are prepared to make necessary reports to ACT, it is important to keep in mind that ACT is not a replacement for appropriate classroom management, the disciplinary processes, nor is it a crisis response team.

What behaviors should I report?

ACT recommends that you report any behavior that raises a concern for you. We have provided guidance below on concerning behaviors and their associated risk level. Please review the information to help inform and guide your decisions.

To report a concern, Complete The Behavior Incident Reporting Form.


Behaviors in the mild category consist of noticeable changes in a student’s behavior that is having a negative impact on their functioning. Typically students in this category are experiencing situational stressors and the behaviors/concerns the student is demonstrating will resolve once the stressor is addressed.

  • Missing classes
  • Missed assignments
  • Declining academic performance
  • Difficulties with social interactions
  • Difficulty fitting in or making friends
  • Difficulty adjusting to college
  • Personal hygiene concerns

If a student is displaying behaviors in the mild category, we typically recommend reaching out to the student to have a meeting to discuss the behavior, referring them to appropriate resources, and providing following up with the student. Consider referring to ACT out of an abundance of caution.


Behaviors in the moderate category build on the behaviors in the mild category but are now having a negative impact on others around the student. These behaviors may be more pervasive and may consistently interfere with the student’s performance.

  • Difficulty coping or managing emotions
  • Emotions that seem disproportionate to the situation
  • Unusual or demanding writing or requests
  • Excessive class absenteeism without any communication from the student
  • Difficulty adhering to the rules and structure of the classroom
  • Social isolation or lack of support
  • Angry or aggressive behaviors in response to frustration or stressors
  • Suspected substance misuse
  • Suspected disordered eating

If a student is displaying behaviors in the moderate category, we typically recommend reaching out to the student to have a meeting to discuss the behavior, referring them to appropriate resources, and providing following up with the student. It is recommended that you make an ACT referral at this stage.


Behaviors in the elevated category are disruptive and often involve the potential for harm to self or others although the threat is not immanent.

  • Vague threats of violence
  • Hostility towards others
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Detached view of reality
  • Bizarre behavior or communication
  • Rapid or odd speech
  • Lack of self care
  • Substance abuse

If a student is displaying behaviors in the elevated category, we typically recommend reaching out to ACT for guidance. A meeting to discuss the student’s behavior should still be conducted, but you may consider if you want to involve another party in the discussion or have someone on stand by in case things are elevated to a crisis. An ACT referral is necessitated at this stage.


Behaviors in the critical or crisis category reflect immanent harm to the self or others. If the student is experience an immediate crisis, call 911 or campus police.

  • If you fear for your safety or the safety of the students or others
  • Active threats of suicide or suicide attempt
  • Verbal or physical threat of harm to others
  • Physical acts of violence towards others

If a student is displaying behaviors in the critical/crisis category, call 911 or campus police at (478) 471-2414 immediately. An ACT report should be completed after the campus police respond.

Responding to ACT concerns in the classroom

Talk with the student to address any behavioral concerns that are impacting the classroom environment. If possible, before you address the concern with the student, reach out for advice from colleagues, your department chair, or the ACT team. Be sure to have on hand any relevant campus or community resources you think the student may benefit from.

During the discussion, give the student a chance to discuss their concerns and any thing they may be struggling with in or outside of the classroom. Let them know you are willing to listen and provide support where appropriate. Assume a caring and non-judgmental attitude. Share your concerns regarding classroom behaviors or academic performance. It is important to remain calm and be clear about expectations and next steps. Do not promise something you will not be able to provide. Share relevant resources where appropriate.

If you believe the student is in crisis, contact the appropriate department before they leave. Such as calling or walking them over to Counseling Services if you believe they are a threat to themselves or calling campus police if you fear for your safety or the safety of others. Please feel free to submit an ACT report at any time.

List of resources and contact information.

Faculty and staff mental health trainings

Many faculty and staff struggle with how to respond to behavioral and mental health issues that students disclose. The University System of Georgia provides free Mental Health First Aid Training and Suicide Prevention (QPR) training to staff and faculty.

USG Mental Health Trainings