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UCLA Dean Urges Campus To Not Allow Tucson-Like Tragedy Here

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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WESTWOOD (CBS) — Could it happen here? The UCLA dean of students hopes not. He has reminded faculty and staff that they are responsible for identifying students with disruptive or disturbing behavior, and intervening compassionately and quickly.

The “it”, of course, refers to a mentally ill student going on a shooting rampage like the one that occured in Tucson.

UCLA is planning a “Red Folder initiative” to provide access to services for professors or other workers who fear for the well-being of a student, and to get immediate help for that person.

The UCLA action comes after Pima Community College, a commuter school in Tucson, was criticized by many for expelling the obviously-ill Jared Lee Loughner, rather than referring him to mental health experts.

In a letter to the UCLA community, dean Robert J. Naples said the Tucson shootings show “the vital role of timely communication, collaboration and support as we keep our students, faculty, scholars, faculty and staff both healthy and safe.”

Naples said the Red Folder initiative will bring in the UCLA Consultation & Response Team, headed by an on-campus manager who coordinated education, consultation and response to individual mental health issues.

The school’s Counseling and Psychological Services program has a 24-hour access line for UCLA students or employees to call for help either for themselves or others. The number is (310) 825-0768.

“If you observe behavior that is concerning, take action to get help for the student by either referring the student directly or consulting with a campus specialist who can help you,” Naples advised.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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