Distressed, Disruptive, and Dangerous People

All Emergencies: (309) 694-5111  |  On Campus: 5111

Student of Concern Report
Dean of Students: (309) 694-8501
Counseling Center: (309) 694-5281
Access Services: (309) 694-5749

Distressed People

You should be alert for when a person may be emotionally distressed and needs help. Typically, the person is acting in a way that is inconsistent from past or “normal” behavior. This may include:

  • Excessive procrastination, absence, or tardiness
  • Exaggerated or inappropriate emotional response
  • Verbal or written reference to suicide, physical assault, or a recent death of a friend or family member
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene
  • Excessive confusion and loss of a connection to reality
  • Excessive procrastination, absence, or tardiness
  • Exaggerated or inappropriate emotional response

Dealing with a distressed person

  • Refer the person to the East Peoria Counseling Center, Room CC200. If you believe it is safe to do so, offer to accompany them to seek help.
  • A referral to Access Services, Room L220 on the East Peoria Campus, is appropriate if the person has a concern relating to a physical, learning, or psychological disability.
  • You are not expected to counsel a person or solve their problems, but you can listen to them, let them know you are concerned, and refer them to others for help.
  • Do not promise confidentiality because you do not know if you will need to refer them to another person or report criminal or dangerous behavior.
  • Point out that seeking help is a sign of strength and courage.
  • Respect their privacy and value system even if you do not agree with them; respond in non-judgmental terms.
  • Document each conversation and incident of inappropriate behavior and report it to a department chair or supervisor. If it involves a student, complete a Student of Concern report online.

Disruptive People

A disruptive person is one who interferes with the learning or working environment for others. Examples include:

  • Unreasonable and persistent demands for time and attention
  • Frequent or high levels of strange, abrasive, or aggressive behavior
  • Attempts to intimidate or harass other people with words or actions
  • Refusal to comply with directions

Dealing with a disruptive person

  • Do not ignore the behavior; manage it immediately.
  • Contact Campus Police at (309) 694-5111 about any inappropriate or threatening behavior.
  • Remain calm and have a private conversation with the person. Let them know their conduct is inappropriate, set clear boundaries and expectations for future behavior and let them know there are consequences if inappropriate behavior continues.
  • Contact your supervisor or department head, Dean of Students, or Vice President of Student Services for help with preparing a conversation.
  • Be honest and focus on what you can do to resolve the situation.
  • Depending on the situation, you may use silence to allow the person to vent out anger. Set limits if needed and tell the person you are willing to speak with them when they are able to lower their voice or refrain from profanity.
  • Document each conversation and incident of inappropriate behavior and report it to a department chair or supervisor. If it involves a student, complete a Student of Concern report online.

Potentially Violent or Dangerous People

Immediately contact Campus Police at 694-5111 if someone indicates they may try to harm themselves and/or others or if the person appears threatening through their words or actions.

  • Get to a safe place to make the call if possible or enlist the help of a colleague to call. If available, activate the Green Button emergency icon or a duress button.
  • Behave in a manner that calms the situation; do not patronize or argue.
  • Give positive-outcome statements, such as “We can get this worked out,” and positive feedback for continued talking, such as “I’m glad you’re telling me how you feel.”
  • Stay out of arm’s reach and do not touch the person; look for a clear escape path.
  • Once the situation is resolved, employees should contact their supervisor and document the incident. If the incident involves a student, complete a Student of Concern report online.

If you are attacked

  • Go with your instincts, but be realistic about your ability to fight off someone; your instinct may be to run, scream, kick, hit, or bite.
  • Your goal should be to escape safely and survive; cooperate until help arrives if you think that resisting may lead to further harm.
  • If a person with a weapon confronts you and wants your vehicle or property, don’t resist. Give up your property and save your life.
  • Try to remember as many details as you can and call Campus Police at (309) 694-5111 as soon as possible from a safe location.
  • Prepare by thinking about what you would do in a threatening situation. This will help you to respond instinctively if a threat is encountered.