How to Help

At the University of Virginia individuals study, work, live, provide and receive medical care in a community that strives for excellence. The Threat Assessment Team (TAT) recognizes at times, people may become angry, overwhelmed, anxious, tired, depressed and display other behaviors inconsistent with community expectations and standards. The multidisciplinary TAT strives to treat all individuals with dignity and respect and believes that this is fundamental to our violence prevention efforts.

The TAT believes that early recognition, intervention, and referral are critical to getting someone help and decreasing risk. Taking action can save a job, an education, a career, or a life. If you find yourself worried or alarmed about an individual who is distressed or troubled, you should share this information and refer to University resources.

Simple Guidelines When Helping:

A distressed or troubled person may not know how to ask for help. If it is SAFE to do so, you can express your concerns in a caring nonjudgmental way.

  • Do not judge: Remain respectful, calm, and patient.
  • Listen: Try not to interrupt and let the person share their story.
  • Do not make promises, especially about confidentiality.
  • Ask about support systems and who else knows about the issue.
  • It is not necessary to provide solutions. Instead, offer resources and support.
  • Express your concern, be genuine, and know your limitations.
  • Do not dismiss, minimize or rationalize your observations and concerns, thinking someone else will deal with them.
  • Report the information per UVA policies.