Step UP! 5 Steps to Intervention
Step UP! is a national bystander intervention training model that teaches students how to appropriately intervene in problem situations. The training provides a framework for becoming an active bystander by understanding the barriers to intervention and the 5 Steps to Intervention. A practice component helps students learn strategies and techniques to intervene both directly and indirectly in a variety of situations. The five steps that must occur to move from a passive to an active (or responsive) bystander are:
- Notice the Event: If you are not aware that a person is passed out on the couch at a party or that a friend is frequently skipping class due to hangovers, you would have no reason to be concerned. Be aware of your surroundings. Noticing an event does not have to occur face-to-face--it can include seeing something on Instagram or Snapchat, or in an email.
- Interpret the Event as a Problem: Once you notice a potential problem, you must decide if the situation merits intervention. You may ask friends for their opinions on the seriousness of the situation, or investigate further even if others appear unconcerned (e.g., checking a student's breathing). Bystander intervention training encourages participants to be mindful of group-think and be prepared to follow their instincts even if others appear unconcerned.
- Assume Personal Responsibility: Most students feel a responsibility to their peers. Publicly stating your intention to take action can encourage others to support an intervention. Enlist others to step up with you by assigning specific tasks (e.g., "I'll stay with our friend while you call 911").
- Know How to Help: You need to know the symptoms of an alcohol overdose and how to respond, as well as how to effectively intervene with a student who has a substance abuse problem. Practice sessions and role-plays can be effective methods for building these skills.
- Implement the Help: You may accurately perceive a situation as a problem, feel responsibility to intervene and possess the skills to help, and still not intervene because the perceived (or real) consequences of action are too great. Do not be afraid to step up! Your action can give strength and permission to others. Student organizations that discuss behavioral expectations around intervention can reduce the fear of retaliation for potential bystanders.