U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

UM CAPS wants to extend our support and our work and our commitment to the UM student community as we all navigate the acts of hate that occurred last week in Louisville on October 24th where two African American individuals and in Pittsburgh October 27th when 11 Jewish individuals were senselessly targeted and lost to acts of violence.

A group of CAPS staff was able to attend and witness the pain caused by the attacks in Pittsburgh at the vigil organized by the Jewish community last Sunday evening. We also witnessed the resilience and strength of the Jewish community on campus as poems, prayers, songs and hugs were used to promote healing. We acknowledge how the killing of two people in Kentucky by a man fueled by hatred and bias as well as other recent attacks across the country have impacted the Black and African American community.  These incidents impact countless students right here on our UM campus.

At the core of these acts was hate. In a year when we have witnessed other Anti-Black and Anti-Semitic acts in our country, in the world, and on our campus.   

And, in a time period when we have recently experienced multiple other acts of hate/hate crimes toward other marginalized groups. It's Pulse, it's Ferguson, it's the current campaign of invisibility for Trans people, it's the downplaying of Interpersonal Violence, it's wage inequality, it's attacks on the Muslim community and the Islamic faith, and so much more...

They all take a piece out of our collective fabric, our patchwork quilt, and attempt to rip the binds that tie us together.

At CAPS we commit to the following:

  1. We'll be there for all individual students when they come in to CAPS; we'll be there for Black and Jewish students especially at this time.
  2. We'll continue to enact our brand of student mental health that not only recognizes the emotional toll these events take, but that social justice and working for peace and love and inclusiveness and eliminating unearned privilege is mentally healthy.
  3. We'll be there for each other -- those of us who are Jewish or Black and those of us who are not, those of us with multiple marginalized identities, those of us with not so many -- in short, we'll be a coalition that is a force to be reckoned with.

Resources are available to all of our students through CAPS; for more information visit caps.umich.edu or call us at 734-764-8312.

In the meantime, please consider the coping strategies below:

  • Managing Our Emotions
    • Recognize what you can and cannot control. One way we try to gain a sense of control is by gathering information and being knowledgeable about the issues and the facts. Unfortunately, sometimes having more information can increase stress. It is wise to monitor whether news and excessive social media exposure has a positive or negative impact on you and how much is right for you.
  • Create And Connect With A Caring Community
    • Pay attention to specific needs of race or ethnicity or religion concerns. This decision may result in a heightened sense of awareness of your racial/ethnic and religious identities.
    • Talking over your concerns with other people in a safe, comfortable environment could be very helpful
    • Actively find ways to not be alone: Spending time with friends, family, colleagues, or social groups who are willing/able to listen to you can be extremely helpful. Even if you do not feel like talking, just being with others who are experiencing the same feelings and talking about them can be comforting.
    • Participate in campus counseling support services: Many support services are available to provide you with a safe space to share concerns, worries, fears, and/or anxiety with a professional counselor.
    • Turn to your spiritual and religious faiths: If you belong to a spiritual or religious community, gathering together for worship, prayer, discussion, a meal or other forms of religious or spiritual expression, can strengthen the bonds of human connections and be a force of comfort in your life.
  • Asking For Help
    • At a stressful time, asking for help can be very difficult for some people. Sometimes, it is not an easy step. People often do not like to ask others for help or to involve outsiders with these kinds of difficulties unless there is considerable distress and unhappiness and until after they have tried everything else. It takes sound judgment to know when additional help is needed and courage to ask for it.
    • So don't be afraid to ask for help. If it is hard for you, learn how to ask comfortably, knowing that you have the need, the right, and the inborn ability to do it. Much more often than you think, other people (friends, family and professionals) are more than willing to help provide you with a listening ear.