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Palo Alto Community College Presentation on Dealing with Difficult People by Dr. Elizabeth M. Stanczak Executive Director of Health & Counseling Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Palo Alto Community College Presentation on Dealing with Difficult People by Dr. Elizabeth M. Stanczak Executive Director of Health & Counseling Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Palo Alto Community College Presentation on Dealing with Difficult People by Dr. Elizabeth M. Stanczak Executive Director of Health & Counseling Services University of Texas – San Antonio

2 Dealing with Difficult People Keep your focus on someone’s behaviors and not their mental status Keep your focus on someone’s behaviors and not their mental status Know you Student Code of Conduct – this will be your best friend when it comes to behavioral problems Know you Student Code of Conduct – this will be your best friend when it comes to behavioral problems Use your Student Judicial Affairs office to deal with difficult students Use your Student Judicial Affairs office to deal with difficult students Human Resources will help with difficult staff or faculty. Human Resources will help with difficult staff or faculty. Law Enforcement will help with difficult people! Law Enforcement will help with difficult people!

3 Dealing with Difficult People What is mental illness: What is mental illness: –A clinically diagnosable disorder that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional &/or social abilities. –The diagnosis of mental illness is generally made according to the classification systems of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-IVR) or the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10)

4 Dealing with Difficult People Why someone becomes upset: Why someone becomes upset: –Not feeling heard –Not getting what they want (or need) –Not feeling important (“just a number”) –Frustrated –Confused –All of the ABOVE!

5 Dealing with Difficult People First thing to do: First thing to do: –Listen (actively and intently) –Remain calm (ignore harsh words) –Alert others to the issues (elicit support) –Never move to put yourself in a position of being “alone” with the person –Explain what you can do, and what you can’t! –Bring in a supervisor (there is strength in numbers)

6 Dealing with Difficult People Things are getting “out of hand” Things are getting “out of hand” –Call your campus Security Officer(s) –If available, contact your Counseling Services for support –Call San Antonio Police Department for assistance –Ask permission to contact a family member –Continue to remain calm and “talk with” the student/person

7 Dealing with Difficult People UTSA SIRT UTSA SIRT –We have a team of mental health professionals who review all reported incidents where there is a concern for someone’s safety or the safety of others –Mandated Assessment –Based on University of Illinois Suicide Prevention Program –Interview and Testing is used to assess level of risk, along with educating about the student code of conduct.

8 Dealing with Difficult People Behavior Intervention Team Behavior Intervention Team –One UTSA Police Sgt., one UTSA Counselor (me), one Student Judicial Affairs Officer, and one legal counsel from Legal Affairs. This is the “Core” BIT. –Expanded BIT deals with non-student related issues –Any threat to the campus community

9 Dealing with Difficult People Interviews Interviews Data – information, specifics Data – information, specifics Assessment Assessment –Mosaic –Personality Assessment Inventory Risk for self-harm Risk for self-harm Risk for violence Risk for violence –Only verbally –Potentially physically

10 Dealing with Difficult People Use Community Resources Use Community Resources Respect the rights of others Respect the rights of others Seek Legal Counsel Seek Legal Counsel –Don’t violate the American’s with Disabilities Act –Ensure that you can legally do what you are intending to do (mandate assessment, etc.)

11 Dealing with Difficult People Questions?

12 Thank you for your attention and questions! Thank you for your attention and questions! Please feel free to call if you have any questions: Please feel free to call if you have any questions: –(210) (Counseling Services) –Wellness Center –University of Texas – San Antonio –(210) (Student Health Services) Again, THANK YOU


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