Helping each other through tragedy

The week of Aug. 28, the Carolina community experienced pain and fear in ways we should never have to. As the days and weeks go on, it remains important for Tar Heels to look out for themselves and others.

“I encourage you to continue supporting your fellow Tar Heels,” Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said last week. “We need each other, and we can’t face the challenges of our world alone.”

No one at Carolina is in it alone. Keep reading to find tips and advice from mental health experts on how to process traumatic events and support all Tar Heels, including yourself.

CAPS provides mental health services

Counseling and Psychological Services Director Avery Cook and Assistant Director for multicultural health Erinn Scott have information on how Carolina students and post-docs can best utilize the service.

They provide answers to questions such as: When and how should you contact CAPS and what happens next? What is CAPS’ Multicultural Health Program and when should students utilize it?




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Tools for processing emotions

Trauma can make it hard to go about your normal life. It can shake your sense of safety — on campus and beyond.

UNC Healthy Heels offers mental health strategies to cope with a traumatic event, including talking about how you feel, making sure you’re taking care of the basics and finding ways to add self-care.


Campus resources

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    Counseling and Psychological Services

    Carolina's Counseling and Psychological Services is strongly committed to addressing the mental health needs of the student body through timely access to consultation and connection to clinically appropriate services.

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    The Heels Care Network

    A gateway for mental health and wellness resources for everyone on campus, the Heels Care Network can help you find a support group, learn strategies for mental health, connect with trainings and advocacy organizations and find wellness events on campus.

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    Employee Assistance Program

    If you need help, the UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Assistance Program is available. The EAP is a confidential counseling and resource program that is designed to help University employees and their families deal with both personal and work-related concerns.

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    Teaching after a tragedy

    The Center for Faculty Excellence has compiled a set of resources for Carolina faculty to utilize following the on-campus shooting. Find guidance on returning to the classroom, course planning and how to take care of yourself.

Although we're all bound to the same tragedy, we each respond to trauma in our own ways. Checking in with friends, colleagues, classmates, students and others is an important way to ensure our collective well-being.

Keep scrolling for advice on how to be of service to others and how to best communicate our feelings.

Giving and asking for mental health support

When a friend or loved one faces a hard time and you don’t know what to say, show up anyway and listen. If, on the other hand, you feel depressed or anxious, ask someone to listen to you.

That’s how Edwin Fisher, a clinical psychologist and director of Carolina’s Peers for Progress program, sums up peer support for mental health.



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Tar Heels supporting each other

Dialogue with one another and having someone to tell how we feel can be a powerful way to heal after tragedy. As Tar Heels, we value conversations that help us better understand ourselves and our community through exchanging ideas, feelings and beliefs in a respectful environment.



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