In light of recent events, University Counseling Services has been working overtime to assist grief stricken students. All of last week, UCS has extended their hours until 7 p.m., staying open two more hours.
The UCS has also been working as a drop-in center, with no appointment needed.
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Dr. John DiMino, director of University Counseling Services, said that students have had a wide range of reactions to the tragedy. Some students have felt fearful of more possible terrorist attacks on the United States. Some have had strong sympathetic reactions and others were saddened by the loss of innocent lives.
He stated that they have seen some “vulnerable” students, those who have had emotional problems in the past. Terrorism and loss have now contributed to their problems.
According to DiMino it is very common for students to have a wide range of reactions toward this type of tragedy. Some reactions can be emotional, some physical and some cognitive thought processes. Other reactions can include shock, anger, panic, confusion, grief and fear.
Students may also feel that they need to place the blame on someone right away. DiMino urged students “not to scapegoat anyone by the way that they look just from your own personal hatred.”
The University Counseling Services office has sent representatives to the University Office of International Services to assist the international students.
“We also have very serious concerns for our international students, especially those of Muslim and Arabic backgrounds,” said DiMino. “Many of these students are very fearful of retaliatory attacks on themselves.”
DiMino said there is a greater concern for those international students due to current prejudicial circumstances.
Besides offering free counseling services to students, the office also hosted panel discussions and conducted several group meetings with students. Counselors also participated in the Temple Issues forum last week.
For students who are still in a state of mourning or need additional help coping with emotional stress, DiMino urged them to visit the University Counseling Services in the lower level of Sullivan Hall.