Unusual, Disturbing, or Suspicious Behavior-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Unusual, Disturbing, or Suspicious Behavior

You may be able to prevent some dangerous situations by watching for these signs among your colleagues:

  • Marked change in academic performance or behavior
  • Poor performance and preparation
  • Excessive absences or tardiness
  • Repeated requests for special consideration (especially when this represents a change from previous functioning)
  • Unusual or changed pattern of interaction
  • Avoidance of class participation
  • Domination of class discussions
  • Excessive anxiety when called upon
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Problems with peers or family members
  • Exaggerated emotional response that is obviously inappropriate to the situation
  • Unusual Behavior or Appearance
    • Depressed or lethargic mood
    • Hyperactive or rapid speech
    • Swollen or red eyes
    • Change in personal hygiene or dress
    • Dramatic weight loss or gain
    • Strange or bizarre behavior indicating loss of contact with reality
  • References to Suicide, Homicide, or Death
    • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
    • Severe psychological pain
    • Overt references to suicide
    • Isolation from friends or family
    • Homicidal threats

If individual is a student, contact Student Health Service 268-2157 ext. 2 for guidance. If individual is faculty or staff member, refer him/her to LifeWorks Employee Assistance Program (1-888-267-8126). Also, alert Student Health Service and University Police (268-2323). When in contact with persons exhibiting this behavior:

  • Express your concern
  • Talk to them in private
  • Give hope
  • Avoid judging, evaluating, or criticizing