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Midshipmen in Distress


USMMA Public Safety (for Police & Fire):  516.726.5911 or X5911

USMMA EMS Ambulance (Medical Emergency): 516.726.5858 or X5858

USMMA 24/7 Sexual Assault Hotline: 516.462.3207

Identifying Midshipmen of Concern

There are many reasons why Midshipmen may be struggling or in distress. This includes relationship difficulties, financial problems, academic, personal or family issues, academic challenges, stress, depression or other illness. Midshipmen provide a number of clues that they are having difficulty.

These clues can consist of:

  • Emotional or behavioral withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in previously important or pleasurable activities
  • Caring less about academic or work performance
  • Recent drop in grades, missed tests and assignments
  • Repeated class or work tardiness or poor attendance
  • Changes in behavior, hygiene or appearance
  • Changes in appetite or quality of sleep
  • Disruptive, agitated or hostile behavior in class, lab or study group
  • Inappropriate display of emotions or behavior
  • Suicidal talk or behavior
  • Threatening language or behavior toward self or others
  • Excess bravado toward authority
  • Attempts to control or isolate others
  • Expressions of desperation or hopelessness over financial, family, relationship or other personal problems
  • Fascination with or a desire to discuss or condone incidents of violence or fascination with weapons
  • Expressions of persecution, paranoia or perceived injustices

Responding to Midshipmen of Concern

We should not assume that midshipmen will stop concerning behavior on their own because they may not be aware that it is troubling or know where to seek help or assistance. It is important to respond to small incidents or behaviors of concern as they occur. Talking to midshipmen can help identify issues sooner and help them cope more effectively. In many cases, your initial expression of concern may be all that is needed to help.  Talking with the midshipman is the first step:

  • Speak to the midshipman privately (include a colleague if you feel that it is necessary)
  • Express your concern; be clear, honest and point out specific behaviors that concern you
  • Listen carefully
  • Do not offer confidentiality since you may need to share the information with others
  • Note how others are affected (if applicable)
  • Discuss options or suggest strategies
  • Suggest seeing a counselor or other applicable party; offer to help make the call or accompany the midshipman depending on your level of concern
  • Set up a time to check back in
  • Document your interaction

Privacy Considerations

For faculty and staff, the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines allow information about midshipmen to be shared when you are concerned about a student’s health or safety. While counselors and medical personnel have more restrictive limits about when they can share information, they are always able to accept information from you. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is committed to providing an educational environment in which we demonstrate care and concern for one another.


The primary referral source for Midshipmen of concern. Consultation may result in a referral to the Midshipman Intervention Team (MIT). MIT identifies disruptive, problematic or concerning behavior and determines the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/notification and response. The team identifies the next steps, deploys the resources needed and coordinates follow-up.

Please include the following information:

  • Name of the Midshipman
  • Company (if known)
  • Cause for concern (list behaviors, observations, statements, quotes from the midshipman)
  • Date/Time/Witnesses (if known)
  • Any action you have taken
  • Your name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Relationship to the Midshipman

Email reports are welcome and should be sent to CARE @ USMMA . edu or can be created by CLICKING HERE.

All members of the U.S. Merchant Marine Community are welcome to submit a report of a midshipman in distress. This would include other midshipmen, staff, faculty, government contractors, friends, parents, or alumni.

Make Up of the Midshipman Intervention Team

The MIT is a multi-disciplinary team with representation from all Academy Divisions.  The MIT is not punitive and is not a disciplinary board, but rather serves as the central point of contact for Midshipman behavioral and academic assessments to determine if intervention is required.

  1. Director of Student Activities (Chair)
  2. Director of Academic Excellence Center (Co-Chair)
  3. Director of Counseling Center
  4. Public Safety Director
  5. Regimental Officer
  6. Athletic Director
  7. Sexual Assault Response Coordinator

Counsel to the Academy will serve as an advisor to the Team.  The Chair may invite subject matter experts or others with relevant information to attend meetings as appropriate.

Click Here for the Midshipman Intervention Team Flow Chart.


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