Coping Suggestions From UCS
With the entire nation, our campus is dealing with a tragedy of immense proportions. We can all play a role in helping facilitate healing and recovery. Here are some thoughts and suggestions as you interact with students, colleagues, friends and family. Some of these ideas are very basic and self-evident:
Feel free to contact the University Counseling Services at either location if you have questions (316 Student Union, X5472 and 002 Student Health Center, X7007). We have a staff member on-call from 8:00-12:00 and 1:00-5:00. After hours the on-duty counselor can be reached by contacting OSU Police dept at 744-6525.
- We can help by allowing people to express all the questions, fears, and uncertainties going through their minds. It is important to validate the concerns rather than try to talk people out of them. Remember, in crisis situations some people may not respond in their typical, rational way.
- A sense of anxiety and panic is absolutely predictable in response to current events. There is so much we don't know; trying to find answers is normal. Without available explanations, the attempt to find answers may take on a flavor of desperation and may seem frantic in nature.
- A crisis situation is one in which an individual's typical coping responses don't work or may be less effective than usual.
- A person's response to a crisis is very individualized. We must be careful not to judge another's response, especially if it's different from our own.
- The thoughts, feelings, and behaviors experienced may be in response to the event at hand, but may also be influenced by previous events such as the OKC bombing and the January 27th plane crash.
- In crisis situations, it becomes difficult for people to concentrate and think rationally. Anger may be inappropriately targeted at innocent people. It becomes everyone's responsibility to remind others that we are all a part of the OSU family. This is a time to reach out to others, not assess blame.
- Let people know about the resources available on campus. These include University Counseling Services for students, (x5472 or x7007), Employee Assistance Program for faculty and staff,(x6415), Office of Vice President for Student Affairs/ Rumor Control(x5328), Residential Life staff, Campus Ministries and their fellow students.
- It is often helpful for people to just be with one another during times of crises. Saying the "right" words isn't the most important thing, feeling connected to people close to you is more important.
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