These are days of great turmoil in the United States and the world. Tragedy and trauma, even those external to UW Bothell, can affect our entire campus community. In the face of overwhelming suffering and injustice, Student Engagement and Activities has compiled the resources below to help us understand our pain, our anger, our grief – and to help foster transformation and healing. At times like this, our shared humanity is our only comfort. With love, we work for a collective liberation that sees the wellness of us all bound up with each other – across boundaries, religions, races, sexual orientations, and genders. Practicing self-care, caring for others, and coming together to fight for justice are the first steps needed in repairing this broken world.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
- Maya Angelou
Our campus is fortunate to have many resources, and we encourage you to reach out for support.
These supportive and emergency resources are all free, confidential, and available 24/7 unless otherwise noted.
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." -Audre Lorde
There is no "right" way to respond to loss and suffering: each person copes differently. Different reactions can occur based on personal experiences and make up, and people’s emotional state prior to the event. Since trauma reactions are normal reactions to extremely abnormal stressful situations, try to treat yourself with compassion and accept whatever arises for you and others. Responses can vary from day to day or minute to minute. These can include:
There are a number of useful strategies for exposure to trauma, overwhelm, anxiety, and grief. Give yourself permission to do whatever you need in order to take care of yourself. You may want to limit your media and social media exposure following the tragedy, especially if you are having difficulty coping. Talking about your feelings with people you trust can also help, and spending time with friends, family, and community can help you feel less alone. While it’s beneficial for some to process feelings on their own, try to seek support if you find yourself withdrawing from others as a stress response. Be on the lookout too for any changes in your daily behaviors – such as sleep, diet, exercise, and substance use – as these may be an indicator of needing outside help. After experiencing trauma, the first step is to regain a sense of safety and stability. Only then can you work to process your experiences by putting words to the event.
UW Bothell is committed to our students’ intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being. Our staff of licensed mental health counselors is trained to help students when they feel they need additional support. Students seek help for problems including but not limited to: stress, anxiety, depression, adjustment difficulties, concentration difficulties, grief and loss, relationship problems, domestic violence, sleeping difficulties, family of origin issues, veterans' issues, low self-esteem, sexual assault, academic problems, parenting concerns, substance abuse, or any other concern causing distress or interfering with academic progress.
When a national or world tragedy occurs, the Counseling Center is available to help students effectively deal with the aftermath. At any time during this process, you may find it useful to seek out a counselor or mental health professional. There are some cases when you should definitely get professional support:
Students may schedule an initial intake appointment by calling the Counseling Center at 425-352-3183 or stopping by UWI-080 and speaking to the receptionist. If you find yourself needing support after hours, please call the crisis lines listed above.
At some point, every person will be called upon to help care for a suffering friend or loved one – sometimes while they’re suffering themselves. Being able to provide support for one another – and to try to find solutions for the root causes of our suffering – can be a key component of healing. For those who are in the midst of healing themselves, don’t neglect your own needs and only take on what’s life-giving to you. Remember the instructions shared before every airplane flight: “In the event of an emergency, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.”
Here are some ways to support others:
Reconnecting with others can also help restore emotional well-being and a sense of control following a traumatic experience. By processing our experiences with others, and coming together to fight for justice, we forge a new sense of self and a new future. Community is essential in the aftermath of a tragedy. By channeling our individual experiences into creating systemic change we bind our liberation with others. Here are some ways we can come together to foster collective healing and justice:
*Adapted from Dartmouth College’s “Response to Tragedy”
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