Emory Threat Assessment Team

The goal of the Threat Assessment Team is to preserve the safety and security of the university community. The team receives, assesses, and responds to information on perceived threats to the safety and security of university students, staff members, visitors, and property. Our philosophy is to identify concerns in their early phases and to work collaboratively with all parties before problems escalate. We encourage all members of the university community to be willing to seek help for themselves or others when there are safety concerns.

In any situation where a person may pose an immediate risk of harm to self or others, please call 911.

Warning Signs

Making the decision to report a potential threat can be difficult. At the same time, we all have a shared responsibility to identify and report concerning behavior. What we see may be one piece of a much larger pattern of behavior. By reporting what you know, you help inform decision-making. We’d much rather hear about concerns, evaluate them, and offer support services than not hear about an individual or situation until a crisis.

What should concern you? There is no comprehensive list. Warning signs can manifest themselves in many forms: one-on-one settings, group interaction, public behavior, letters, emails, blogs, websites, social networking sites, photos, phone calls, or text messages are just some examples. Here are some examples of behavior that might prompt you to make a report:

  • Explicit statements about harming someone
  • Attempts to harm or kill self
  • Expressing suicidal thoughts
  • Social isolation
  • Changes in behavior
  • Changes in academic performance
  • Unexplained absenteeism
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use
  • Anxiety or uncertainty about family/relationships/situations
  • Lack of energy or chronic fatigue
  • Change in appearance/decline hygiene
  • Sending disturbing messages (i.e., texts, emails, or letters) to students/staff/faculty
  • Paranoia
  • Loss of job/income/relationships
  • Disruptive behavior/irritability/abrasive towards others
  • Coursework content that is alarming
  • Depression or nervousness
  • Identifying with other persons who engaged in past violence toward others
  • Making statements that support the use of violence to resolve issues

It is always a good habit to trust your intuition, especially when dealing with a potentially threatening situation. Listening to your gut and reporting a person or situation that is of concern to you is critical to preventing violence. It is natural to rationalize or deny that a concern or threat may exist. Remember that you may only be seeing one part of a larger picture, and coming forward may be critical for bringing awareness to a potential threat.