Pittsburgh Higher Education and Assessment Response Team (HEART)

The Division of Student Affairs has implemented the Pittsburgh Higher Education Assessment and Response Team (HEART) which provides an immediate response, initially with police, to welfare checks initiated by members of our university communities to support students in distress.

The service aims to: 

  1. Facilitate de-escalation among individuals in significant distress to ensure that the least restrictive and most clinically appropriate intervention is applied to the student situation, reducing the need for resolve Crisis Services and Western Psychiatric hospital visits as well as involuntary hospitalizations. 

  1. Increase communication and collaboration between the University Counseling Center (UCC), Police, EMS, Student Affairs, resolve, WPH, and outpatient community agencies.

  2. Collaboratively work with police and other departments to reduce stigma, fear, and barriers to accessing mental health care and to increase help-seeking behavior. 

  3. Decrease the need for repeat encounters with law enforcement and potentially increase diversion from the criminal justice system. 

  4. Reduce the risk of traumatic encounters among students in crisis, who belong to minority communities who’ve historically had contentious relationships with the police. 

  1. Increase collaboration among institutions and internal departments to facilitate a successful return to campus (when hospitalization is necessary) for the individual involved. 

To initiate a Welfare Check, 24/7, please contact Pitt Police at 412-624-2121.