Johnson Center Lobby

Student Health and Wellness

Wellness Team

Purpose

The Wellness Team is a multidisciplinary team that works to address concerning or threatening behaviors of North Park University students. The team works to promote the safety and well-being of the university community while providing an institutional framework for information sharing and the development of support plans for students of concern. The Wellness Team serves as an early intervention team overseeing behavioral assessment, intervention, and response.

Procedures

North Park community members should report concerning or threatening behaviors by submitting an EARS referral. Please refer to the distressed student protocol if you are not sure whether to submit an EARS referral or if you need to seek other more immediate help.

If the student needs immediate medical attention, call 911 and Campus Safety at (773) 244-5600.

Once an EARS referral is submitted, professional staff in Student Engagement will reach out to offer support and connect the student to resources on campus. At times an EARS referral is submitted, or the University receives reports of at-risk student behavior that requires immediate attention. This could be where multiple concerns about the same individual have been received from different parts of the University or when there is a single urgent or highly critical concern about an individual. These cases are considered critical cases.

As a resource for the whole campus, the Wellness Team reviews these critical cases, with consideration given to all confidentiality laws and standards. The team’s discussions include understanding how the individual is interacting on campus and in the community, identifying existing points of communication and support, and developing an action plan to respond to the situation. While the team hopes to be proactive in addressing particular concerns, they are equipped to react quickly to particular situations when necessary for the health and well-being of all students.

The Wellness Team meets as needed and may meet in person or virtually, depending on the immediacy and nature of the referral.

The Wellness Team is not a disciplinary entity. If reports constitute a potential code of conduct violation it will be referred to the proper University officials for follow-up.

Team Responsibilities

  • Create and maintain a mechanism for members of the University community to report concerns about the behavior of other members of the community.
  • Monitor and respond to cases where multiple concerns about the same individual have been received from different parts of the University or when there is a single urgent or highly critical concern about an individual.
  • Determine situations that rise to the level of “critical case” and coordinate an appropriate response for those and refer non-critical issues to the appropriate individuals or departments.
  • Perform initial assessment of risk and develop a support plan, within existing University policies, to mitigate risk and promote student well-being and success. Provide follow-up and assessment of the support plan.
  • Make recommendations for action and share information with University entities, such as the Senior Team, and/or faculty, staff and others, as appropriate, to assist with managing potentially harmful or disruptive behavior.
  • Connect North Park University students with services and assistance as appropriate. Maintain an ongoing dialogue about the nature of “critical cases” and potential behavioral issues for the University.
  • Make recommendations as allowed in University policy, such as Medical Leave of Absence and Involuntary Withdrawal.

Members

  • Elizabeth Fedec, Assistant Vice President/Dean of Students (chair)
  • Terrance Gadsden, Campus Pastor and Athletic Chaplain
  • Julia Guzman, Director of Health Services
  • MaLinda Lee, Director of Counseling Support Services
  • Elman McClain, Director of Campus Safety and Auxiliary Services
  • Eric McQuaid, Head Athletic Trainer
  • Amy Menton, Student Care Coordinator
  • Vanessa Serrano, Access Specialist Coordinator
  • TDB, Director of Intercultural Student Life
  • Grace So, Director of Residence Life and Housing
  • Amy Governale, Faculty member
  • Colleagues from other offices or units are included depending on the case and/or if other expertise is needed (e.g., Seminary/Graduate representative, international affairs representative).

Team membership may evolve over time to meet the needs of North Park students.

Confidentiality and Retaliation

North Park University will not allow retaliation against another member of the campus community who reports in good faith, concerning or threatening behavior through an EARS referral or directly to a Wellness Team member. Students who undergo a Wellness Team evaluation will be treated with respect and action plans will be kept as confidential as possible while providing enough information to implement the support resource and plan.

Concerning Behaviors

Disruptive Behaviors
  • Overt actions, omissions to act, or verbal or written statements that would not be consistent with the actions or statements of a reasonable, prudent person under similar circumstances.
  • Include, but are not limited to, behaviors resulting from possible physical, drug-related, or psychiatric disorders which may pose a potential harm to the physical or emotional well-being of the student or others, and/or cause significant disruption to the normal functions and activities of the University.
  • Typically, are directly observable, but may also include a student’s electronic communications (e.g., email, social networking sites, postings to electronic classrooms, etc.).
Uncharacteristic Behavior
  • Unusual or abrupt changes in behaviors or patterns
  • Extreme reaction to a loss or traumatic event
  • Uncharacteristically poor performance
  • Evidence of depression, hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts/plans
  • Inappropriate responses such as prolonged irritability, angry outbursts, or intense reactions
  • Strained interpersonal relations, isolating behaviors, or low self-esteem
  • Significant change in life circumstances such as loss of job or relationship

Contact

If you have questions about the Wellness Team, please contact the Dean of Students at (773) 244-5664.