Distressing situation, suicide ideation, safety planning, resource connections, survivor support, delivery of difficult news, mental health evaluation, welfare checks
OSU Assist is appropriate for situations such as crisis support, conflict resolution, substance abuse issues, the delivery of difficult information and resource connection. The team will only respond to calls if there are no reports of weapons, threats of violence or an immediate medical emergency.
If a 911 or non-emergency call meets the requirements of dispatching the OSU Assist team, the team will de-escalate and stabilize the situation and/or call upon additional first responders, as needed. OSU Assist will provide wraparound services at the time of the call — drawing upon the expertise of crisis response professionals to better support students — and in follow-up case management by connecting students to helpful resources.
Too often, those who hold marginalized identities experience law enforcement negatively; they may have anxiety about past encounters, distressing associations with police violence from across the nation or other stressors such as racism or transphobia. Oregon State University partners, including the OSU Police, are taking a collaborative approach to help address these concerns by calling upon the most appropriate support services for students experiencing crisis. Our student-centered and trauma-informed response will take into account the unique nature of each student and situation, providing suitable care and resources.
OSU Assist, an enhanced approach to crisis response being developed at Oregon State University's Corvallis campus, brings together new personnel and existing university services to better support students facing challenges or crisis with the right resources at the right time. This effort recognizes that it is not necessary for every first responder to a crisis to be law enforcement — a multi-disciplinary team of mental health professionals, peer support specialists, community health workers and/or other first responders provide a more appropriate response in many situations.
Josh (he/him) is a social worker with experience working in mental health, end-of-life care, disability services, and survivor and crisis support. He is excited to be part of a team that provides a trauma-informed, person-centered approach to mental health and crisis support for the OSU community. Outside of work, Josh enjoys hiking and exploring new trails, reading fiction and fantasy novels, staying active with his partner and their two dogs, and dabbling in painting and starting novels he may or may not ever finish.
Tawn (xi/xir) has experience working with college students and community members in crisis. Xi is drawn to this work due to xir personal and professional experiences around mental health and acute crisis. Xi is excited about the opportunities that OSU Assist has to be intentional in its support of students and staff. Originally from Wisconsin, xi is happy to continue exploring the Pacific Northwest after spending the last three years in Washington. Outside work, xi likes to read Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, go thrifting with xir partner Zach and spend time with xir dog Apollo.
Reiman (she/her) is a social worker from Canada. She has experience working in crisis intervention, community and disability services, child protection services, and immigrant and settlement services. Reiman is excited to be part of an interdisciplinary collaboration that addresses the diverse needs of students on campus. She believes that crisis response should be structured around respecting the dignity and worth of individuals and groups, responding in safe and inclusive manners, and advocating for barrier-free engagement in the university community. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, exploring new countries and cultures, reading, and watching stand-up comedy specials.
Javier (he/him) is a lifelong Arizonan with a professional background in child welfare, environmental health and university crisis response. He is excited to get to know the OSU community better and explore all the things that make the Beaver community special. He believes that crisis response requires a compassionate and person-centered approach, and he is looking forward to the privilege of supporting students and staff when they need it the most. In his off-time, he likes to read, make tasty meals with his partner, and play video/board games.
START Resource Fairs: Join us at any of the upcoming resource fairs for START throughout this summer to meet a crisis responder and learn more about the program. The resource fairs are always from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on the first day!
Beaver Community Fair: We will be participating in this year's Beaver Community Fair. Stop by anytime between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 6!
OSU Assist will respond to calls through the dispatch 911 and the Department of Public Safety’s emergency number: 541-737-7000. When a call comes into 911 or the emergency number, dispatch will be trained to determine if it is a call that is appropriate for OSU Assist. For example, suppose there is no report of violence or a weapon, and it involves a potential mental health and wellness matter. In that case, OSU Assist may be dispatched instead of law enforcement.
OSU Assist operates every day, 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Operational hours are intended to expand as evaluated. The Department of Public Safety will prioritize and support all crisis calls when OSU Assist is not operating.
911: Your call will be answered by the local dispatch unit, depending on your location. Your call will be connected to local dispatch units if you are off campus. If you are currently on campus, your call will be connected to the university’s department of public safety dispatch. Dispatchers will ask a series of questions to determine the appropriate first responders to send to assist.
541-737-7000: Your call will be answered by the university’s department of public safety dispatch. Dispatch will ask several questions to learn more about the circumstances and support you may need. Depending upon the nature of the call, OSU Assist, a Public Safety Officer and/or Law Enforcement may be dispatched to support you or any person who needs help.
988: When calling 988, callers first hear a greeting message while their call is routed to the local Lifeline network crisis center (based on the caller’s area code). A trained crisis counselor answers the phone, listens to the caller, understands how their problem affects them, provides support, and shares resources if needed. The caller is automatically routed to a national backup crisis center if the local crisis center cannot take the call. The Lifeline provides live crisis center phone services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide translation services in over 250 additional languages for people who call 988.
Not currently. OSU Assist only responds to calls on campus and will expand a phased approach. In the first phase, the OSU Assist Team will respond only to calls on the Corvallis campus and only during certain hours and days of the week. Hopefully, OSU Assist will someday respond to calls on the Corvallis campus 24/7. It is undetermined whether OSU Assist will someday respond to calls off campus. OSU Assist will explore partnerships with local mental health crisis and law enforcement agencies whereby they would offer resources to OSU students off campus.
Effective July 1, 2021, Benton County began a pilot program whereby a mental health crisis clinician and a law enforcement agent would co-respond to mental health calls. Data will be collected from this pilot program to see if this program furthers the goal of offering more appropriate resources for these situations.
The OSU Assist Team will be a multi-disciplinary team of diverse experiences and expansive knowledge that reflects our university community. All team members will receive training in first response, trauma-informed care, implicit bias, utilization of the dispatch system, survivor support, de-escalation techniques, mental health assessments, and more. This training will be given in addition to the OSU Assist team members’ previous professional training.
No. The OSU Assist Teams will not be armed.
Yes. The OSU Assist Team will help when called to an incident on campus, regardless of whether the person is a student, non-student, staff or faculty.
The creation of OSU Assist was partly because marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by negative experiences with law enforcement. As OSU Assist designs its services, marginalized communities are centered in this work. The program will train team members to provide supportive services while recognizing the complexity of our community’s lived experiences. As the program expands, OSU Assist will continue to engage with community partners to ensure these services are accessible and supportive of LGBTQIA+ students, BIPOC students, international students, student veterans, and students with disabilities.
The OSU Assist team will connect students to wrap-around support services directly after the stabilization of the incident. In addition, OSU Assist will explore various resources at the moment that a student could connect to during their engagement or in the future.
No. A “responsible employee” is defined as a university employee that must report any allegation of sexual misconduct or discrimination to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. The OSU Assist team will not have these reporting obligations.