Bystander Intervention

Have you ever been concerned about a risky situation…and wanted to help, but didn’t know how? You see or hear something that does not look right. In fact, your gut reaction is that you should do something, but you don’t know what to do, and no one else is reacting.

Just one person STEPPING UP! can make a difference.

These situations almost always involve bystanders, people who are present at the time of the incident. Sometimes bystanders will be active by STEPPING UP! to help diffuse the situation. At other times, they will be inactive, standing by and doing nothing, even though they find it to be problematic or offensive. This phenomenon is referred to as the “Bystander Effect”.

CAPS developed a bystander intervention training program called STEP UP! UAlbany where participants learn:

  • Prosocial behavior
  • Five decision-making steps used when faced with a risky or concerning situation
  • Factors that make it difficult to help
  • Warning signs of a risky or concerning situation
  • Options to safely intervene
  • Skills for responding to risky situations
  • Campus and community resources
To learn more, please contact Heidi Wright, PsyD, at 518-442-5800 or