About NOVACares

NOVA Office of Student Mental Health and Behavior
7630 Little River Turnpike, Suite 306, Annandale, VA 22003

Connie Kirkland, Director, 703-323-2136, ckirkland@nvcc.edu
MaryAnn Raybuck, Case Manager, 703-425-5202, mtraybuck@nvcc.edu
Monica Chenault, Program Manager, 703-425-5472, mchenault@nvcc.edu
Sandy Nagabhushan, Sexual Assault Services Coordinator, 703-338-0834, nova.sas@nvcc.edu

The Office of Student Mental Health and Behavior (SMHB) was created to help the college address concerning behaviors in a systematic way, to provide support for students, faculty or staff in need of intervention, and to meet the requirements of federal, state and VCCS policy to initiate a program to help prevent campus-based violence. SMHB participates in the development and implementation of policy and procedures related to behavioral intervention. NOVA is committed to providing a stable and safe environment that supports student learning and success. SMHB manages three important functions (1) NOVACares, (2) Sexual Assault Services (SAS), and (3) outreach, education and training on behavioral intervention and related topics. NOVA does not provide direct mental health services per VCSS policy, referrals can be provided to community agencies or individual practitioners. In addition, the Annandale and Alexandria campuses host a mental health therapist one day a week; the therapist is funded by Access Hope, a community non-profit agency. Appointments are made through the Counseling Office at Annandale and Alexandria campuses. It is open to all students without insurance.
(1) NOVACares (a behavioral intervention program administered by SMHB). CARE (Campus Assessment, Response and Evaluation) Teams on each campus were created to provide a systematic response to concerning student behavior. SMHB monitors all reports of concerning behavior at NOVA. SMHB receives and assesses the initial reports submitted thru NOVACares for urgency and severity, and assigns reports to responsible parties for appropriate intervention. The NOVACares database is used to manage and track reports of Academic Integrity, Concerning Behavior, and Code of Conduct or Criminal incidents. Anyone may make a report using the on-line NOVACares behavior reporting form. The form can be accessed at www.nvcc.edu/novacares.
Use of the NOVACares form ensures the report is added to the database. The form is designed to help the reporter describe the behavior factually. Timely reporting is strongly encouraged. Though anonymous reports are accepted, they are not the best way to communicate concerns because it is not possible to request additional information if details have been left out. NOVA strives to protect the reporter’s confidentiality whenever possible. Please submit a new report for each incident. Reports are shared with appropriate departments or agencies based on the information in the report on a need-to-know basis. Our NOVACares responders include the CARE teams, Deans of Students, Academic Deans, Human Resources, and NOVA Police.

Examples of concerning behavior are:
• Classroom disruption
• Negative change in academic performance
• Self-destructive behavior
• Writing or drawing that convey intentions to harm self or others
• Significant changes in attitude or personality
• Unusual or bizarre behavior
• Incoherent speech
• Intoxication
• Violent or threatening behavior and/or communication
• Victimization
• Overly stressed
• Unresolved medical issues
• Violation of academic integrity
Concerning behavior is any behavior that causes you concern and should be reported as soon as possible.
If it requires an immediate emergency response, please contact NOVA Police at 703-764-5000.

(2) NOVA Sexual Assault Services (SAS) program. SAS offers free and confidential services to any member of the NOVA community experiencing sexual assault, dating/partner violence and/or stalking. The Sexual Assault Services Coordinator is on call 24 hours a day to assist members of the NOVA community via the cell phone or by email (see above). The SAS Coordinator can also provide options and information to the victim/survivor at a safe place on any of NOVA’s campuses. She is also available to accompany the victim/survivor to medical, legal, or academic meetings or proceedings. Contact the Coordinator to request presentations on these issues in classrooms or at other college events.
(3) NOVACares Outreach. SMHB provides education and training to the NOVA community on multiple topics including but not limited to: crisis management, classroom management, stress, healthy lifestyles, behavioral issues, legal and policy issues. SMHB responds to requests for additional training topics identified by NOVA by hosting or developing workshops. SMHB provides resource referrals and case management services to at-risk members of the NOVA community. SMHB develops and links resources both on and off campus. SMHB is available for consultations with faculty and staff.

For more information about the Office of Student Mental Health and Behavior or the NOVACares program, please contact any of the staff members listed above.

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