NABITA Applauds BIG Act Introduction

The National Association for Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment (NABITA) is excited to announce a key piece of legislation has been proposed to increase the safety of our students nationwide.

Introduced in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, Behavioral Intervention Guidelines Act (BIG Act) requires the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop best practices for schools and higher education institutions. The BIG Act will help to establish behavioral intervention teams comprised of small groups of school officials who meet regularly to collect and review concerning information about at-risk community members and develop plans to assist them.

Sponsored in the House by Rep. Drew Ferguson (GA-3rd-R) with Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26th-R), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20th-D), and Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52nd-D), and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn (TX-R) and Sen. Angus King (ME-I), the Act’s launch was announced today. Ferguson’s public statement can be found here.

The BIG Act will also help to connect experts who develop and implement behavioral intervention programs with the SAMHSA and other federal agencies, which in return helps to promote the most effective behavioral intervention practices throughout the country.

“As an organization that supports the practitioners who work every day to support their students and make their schools safer, we are excited by the resources this Act will represent to NABITA’s members,” stated Makenzie Schiemann, M.S., President of NABITA.

The BIG Act is critical legislation for student support and safety because it will provide best practices for schools to establish Behavioral Intervention Teams (BITs), mandate that schools receive training in BIT best practices, and require technical assistance to be provided to higher education and K-12 schools to assist them in implementing these best practices.

According to Aaron “Chip” Reese, Ed.D., the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs at Columbus State University and a NABITA Advisory Board member, “the BIG Act will be a gamechanger for student affairs professionals across the country because, I truly believe, it will provide a more holistic approach in our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of our campuses and our students.”

The National Association for Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment is committed to making our campuses, schools, and workplaces safer environments by fostering and encouraging development, education, and caring intervention. As the leading organization in the field of behavioral intervention teams (BITs), threat assessment, and case management, NABITA provides education, best practice recommendations, and ongoing professional development through an annual conference, multiple certification training opportunities yearly, and a weekly newsletter. NABITA serves as a best practices clearinghouse for over 2,000 members by providing BIT and case management-related model policies, training tools, and templates. For more information, visit www.nabita.org.

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