Staying Healthy in Times of Uncertainty and Injustice

From: Counseling Center
To: Students, Faculty, and Staff
Posted: June 2, 2020 at 3:15 p.m.

Statement of Support

The VU Counseling Center joins the rest of the Valparaiso University community in expressing our grief, sorrow and compassion to all those who have been impacted by the race-based tragedies that have been occurring across our nation. These tragedies reflect a longstanding and entrenched history of structural and systemic injustice and oppression that we condemn and are dedicated to addressing. While these tragedies can be traumatizing for all of us, we recognize that they are especially injurious in a unique way to members of our Black and African-American community. In the aftermath of experiencing or witnessing trauma, it is normal to experience a range of feelings and emotions, such as shock, fear, sadness, anger, helplessness or guilt. As a mental health service, the VU Counseling Center is committed to affirming and providing care for all of our students who have been directly or vicariously impacted by this trauma.


Counseling Services Resources for the Summer

The Valparaiso University Counseling Center recognizes that as we continue to be in a time of great and rapid change and intensely distressing events, many may feel uncertainty and fear and anger along with a host of other emotions. Research shows that intense emotions can affect your decisions about how to best manage your health and your life. In an effort to support you, please find below information on accessing our direct services available to all those enrolled in VU courses in summer session I and/or summer session II as well as indirect resources available to all VU students. In addition, we have drafted a list of coping techniques and support resources to manage stress and anxiety including those relevant to the racism and oppression on which current happenings are shining a spotlight on the need for urgent action.

DIRECT SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN VU SUMMER SCHOOL COURSES       

  • Students enrolled in at least one credit of VU coursework for a summer session can access phone or video appointments with a mental health provider at the VU Counseling Center for that summer session.
  • To access services, send an email that includes your call-back phone number and availability to counseling.center@valpo.edu. A staff member will get back to you to assess your situation and needs.

ONLINE OR CALL-IN RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO ALL VU STUDENTS

  • TAO Connect – A free to you online self-help resource with helpful information on general well-being, calming your worry, improving your mood, pain management, and several other topics.
  • Counseling Center’s Mental Health Resource pages – Includes on and off campus resources, crisis hotlines contact info, and helpful apps and websites to explore
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline – also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service. They are a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, substance use and information service, in English and Spanish.
  • NAMI HelpLine – National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.
    • More information can be found at www.nami.org They can also be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Suggestions for Coping with Uncertainty, Change, and Fear

  • Keep things in perspective. 
  • Communicate with your social support system and promote hope between each other. 
  • Seek additional help when necessary. 
  • Practice Patience and Be Kind. Many are experiencing stress and pain during this time and a little extra patience and kindness can go a long way. Using skills from mindfulness and meditation practices may be helpful. (TAO connect has a Meditation Library to help with this and can be accessed through the link on the following site valpo.edu/counseling-services)

RESOURCES FOR COPING AND COMBATING RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION