Action Care Team

ACT is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of SF State professionals. Our focus is to assist students in reducing distress levels and addressing concerning behaviors to provide support and reduce barriers to student success. ACT implements a centralized response to nonemergency concerns and coordinates resources with the goal of providing the student the support they may need and keep the SF State Community healthy and safe.

Thank you on behalf of ACT,

David Rourke (ACT Co-Chair) Director, Residential Life
Kenya Sullivan (ACT Co-Chair) Wellbeing Case Manager, Dean of Students Office


The Action Care Team (ACT) is a multi-disciplinary team of SF State professionals committed to the health, well-being, and the safety of the SF State community. The team receives referrals and information pertaining to students of concern, collects information, and identifies and enacts appropriate strategies for addressing the potentially threatening situations.

The ACT is SF State's response to the emerging higher education best practice of having Behavioral Intervention Teams. One of the primary goals of establishing this team is to focus on engaging the campus in proactive measures and early intervention strategies to get students appropriate support when they display disruptive or concerning behavior.


The purpose of the team is to provide a means for early intervention of at-risk students through collaboration with campus departments, faculty and staff. Students exhibiting behaviors that are of concern in relation to their personal, physical and emotional well-being should be referred to this team of professionals. Provides a clearinghouse for data on students of concern to promote organized, consistent response to a potential incident.


Making a Report

If you observe and/or are made aware of student behavior that appears to be unusual in nature, leaves you feeling concerned, worried or troubled, trust your instinct and ask for support. Even if you are not sure if the behavior or interaction warrants a response from the ACT, go ahead and fill out the report and go through a consultation call.

The following are several examples of when it may be appropriate to refer a student*:

  • Unusual or erratic behavior in class, in the residence halls, during advising sessions;
  • Behavior that is threatening in nature including words, actions, or movements that reflect a serious intention to cause physical or mental harm to oneself or another person at any location within the campus community (i.e. In class, residence communities, or administrative buildings);
  • Written work or creative expression with troubling/alarming themes or references
  • Verbal or written threats made by a student toward another student, faculty, or staff;
  • Written or verbal expressions of suicidal ideation plan, or intent;
  • Other actions, which cause an alarm or call into, question the safety of the student or their peers.
  • Marked changes in academic performance, a noticeable decline in personal appearance and/or a student repeatedly engaging in disruptive behaviors in class can all be signs of a student in crisis;
  • If efforts to manage a significant classroom behavioral issue have not resolved the problem. If you are concerned about the welfare of a student, yourself and other students;
  • If a student asks for help in dealing with personal issues that are out of your role as a faculty or staff member
  • If a student makes threatening gestures in writing, verbally, or passive threatening actions.

If there is an overt threatening action or presence of a weapon, please call UPD immediately at (415) 338-2222.

It is important to note that some behavioral warning signs carry more weight than others and multiple indicators increase the risk of potential harm to self and/ or others. In such instances, you are encouraged to seek consultation with Counseling & Psychological Services at (415) 338-2208.


*The list is not exhaustive but rather an example of recent situations referred to ACT

A submission of an ACT report is of great importance and provides valuable information to coordinate our response. A member of ACT may contact you within a few days of your submission to discuss the student of concern. ACT often relies on you and your relationship with the student to prevent or implement an early intervention for a student at risk. The ACT will work closely with you to follow up on any updates and determine if further case management is needed from ACT.

Please provide as much information as possible in the form submission. This will allow the ACT team an opportunity to offer the most effective, appropriate support.

If the student’s behavior is clearly and imminently reckless, disorderly, dangerous or threatening, including self-harm behavior, call 911 or Campus Police: (415) 338-2222.

If you are calling 911 from a cell phone on campus, dial (415) 338-2222 instead, for quick, direct access to UPD. The non-emergency number for UPD is (415) 338-7200.

The ACT team will evaluate the information provided through the online reporting system and collaboratively work to determine the most appropriate path forward in supporting the student and the campus community. Below are a few things to be aware of when you refer a student to ACT:

  • You may be contacted by a member of ACT to provide additional details about the concerning behavior that you are aware of. This conversation may be used to clarify any information that may require additional information or context. 
  • You, the Reporting Party, may be updated with information as it pertains to the student's interactions with you or your department.
  • There are some instances in which the Reporting Party may not receive additional information or updates related to the incident that was reported. Each situation requires individual attention, response, and engagement with the student of concern.

Frequently Asked Questions

FERPA pertains to the privacy of educational records, but it does not prohibit the reporting of observable behavior. If you are concerned about a personal interaction you have had with a student or an observation you have made pertaining to behavior, you are encouraged to report and consult with appropriate colleagues, especially as it relates to the educational mission of the University.

Yes. Action Care Team is a team that responds to high level, imminent campus crisis, once a situation occurs. ACT is a proactive, small team that meets weekly to assess referrals, consult and at times intervene before the concern escalates to violent or detrimental behavior to the student of concern or members of the campus community. However, if there is a concern that a student is making overt actions or presents as an imminent danger to themselves or others, you should contact University Police at (415) 338-2222. ACT does not provide immediate, real-time responses to situations.

You may or may not be contacted to be asked to give the committee additional details about the concerning behavior. Also, you may or may not be updated with information as it pertains to the student's situation. In any case, you will not be informed of details of conversations with the student or possible disciplinary action that may occur, depending on the situation.

Examples of unusual or erratic behavior may look like, but is not limited to:

  • Unnaturally moody or aggressive
  • Feeling agitated;
  • Raised or elevated voices;
  • Incoherent speech;
  • Seeing or hearing voices that others don't see or hear;

Offices that are represented on the Team:

  • Counseling & Psychological Services
  • Disability Programs and Resource Center
  • Office of the Dean of Students
  • Office of Residential Life
  • Office of Student Conduct
  • Undergraduate Advising
  • University Police
  • Various Academic Units

The committee may also consult with:

  • Student Health Center
  • Academic Advising
  • Athletics
  • Human Resources
  • Student Activities & Events
  • other departments, as needed

Useful Resources

Whether it is in a classroom or office setting, faculty and staff are often the first to have contact with students that are experiencing emotional or psychological distress. Counseling & Psychological Services has prepared this handy resource for you to review and use if or when you are looking for assistance.

Faculty & Staff Guide

The California State University system has begun rolling out the Red Folder program, which is designed to help faculty and staff identify, respond to, and refer students in distress.

The Red Folder is a reference guide that contains safety tips and contact information for a wide variety of emergency campus resources to immediately help any student in distress. Also, it provides guidance on responding to incidents in which a student might be self-danger or threat to others.

The Red Folder was developed by a systemwide workgroup consisting of Counseling and Psychological Services directors, counselors, student conduct administrators, and health educators. It was created through the support of the California Mental Health Services Authority’s Student Mental Health Initiative, which promotes and applies strategies to strengthen student mental health services across all CSU campuses.

SF State Red Folder site

The National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NABITA) is an organization for the support and professional development of behavioral intervention team members. NABITA is committed to providing education, resources, and support to professionals in schools and in the workplace who endeavor every day to make their campuses and workplaces safer through caring prevention and intervention.

NABITA is an independent, not-for-profit association and has more than 2,000 active members from colleges, universities, schools, and organizations.


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