Behaviours of Concern

Behaviours of concern are behaviours observed in a student that may require faculty, staff, or peer intervention. If you identify any of the following behaviours of concern in a student or peer, please contact Safety & Security or the Acadia Student Resource Centre (Counselling Services) for assistance.

If you or another person are in imminent danger, call Safety & Security (902-585-1103) or 911 immediately.

In the event of threatening or aggressive behaviour, prioritize your own safety. If you or others are in danger, call 911 immediately.

  • Relationship violence.
  • Excessive interest or infatuation with firearms, explosives, weapons, etc.
  • Projects, assignments, or social media activity indicating intent or desire to harm others.
  • Uncharacteristic and/or extreme aggression toward others.
  • Aggressive acts targeting an identified group.

Changes in Academic Performance
Peers, faculty, or staff may observe concerning changes in academic performance.

  • Negative change in attitude toward coursework.
  • Uncharacteristically poor performance or grades.
  • Excessive class absenteeism.
  • Exclusive focus on academics.

Changes in Mood or Mood Disturbance
Mood disturbance or low mood may result from a variety of factors that may or may not include a psychological disorder. Regardless of origin, all persons in distress can receive support.

  • Persistent low mood, anxiety, mania, or depression.
  • Paranoia, delusions, or experience of an altered reality.
  • Flat affect or extreme lack of responsiveness.
  • Concerning social media activity indicating poor mental health.
  • Sudden improvement in mood (may indicate suicide risk).

Non-Suicidal Self Injury
Not all self-injurious behaviours indicate suicidal intent or are life-threatening, but all should still be taken seriously. In case of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

  • Observed self-injurious behaviour (extreme thinness, burns, cuts, etc.).
  • Online participation on forums and websites promoting self-injury.
  • Expressed desire to harm oneself.
  • Lack of regard for personal safety (risky sexual behaviours, reckless driving, etc.).

Peers, faculty, or staff may identify a decrease in personal care.

  • Sleeping excessively or not enough.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Significant changes in weight.
  • Social withdrawal or isolation.

Substance Use or Misuse
In the event of a medical emergency resulting from consumption of drugs or alcohol, call 911 immediately.

  • Excessive, reckless or increased consumption of alcohol or drugs (regular binge drinking and blackouts).
  • Regular or prolonged intoxication.
  • Use of heroin, fentanyl, or other high-lethality substances.
  • Continuing substance use despite negative consequences.

If you or someone you know are concerned about imminent self-harm or have made a suicide attempt, call 911 immediately.
An individual believed to be at risk of suicide should receive immediate and compassionate support. Learn more about Suicidal Behaviours.