Our Statement on Systemic Racism

UMSL Health, Counseling and Disability Access Services joins the rest of our university community in expressing our care and concern for everyone who has been impacted by the difficult circumstances of the past weeks and months. At a time when we are collectively feeling the impact of a global pandemic, we are now facing the sadness, pain, frustration and anger of our nation’s longstanding history of systemic discrimination and racially motivated injustices. While events like those most recently in Wisconsin can impact us all, we recognize that outcomes like this can have a deep impact to members of our African American community and other people of color. It is normal to experience a wide range of emotions when experiencing these events. Please know that we are committed to providing supportive care to all UMSL students, particularly those who have been impacted by these experiences.

We stand ready to provide sensitive and compassionate care for your physical and mental health needs. We provide in person services, along with secure and confidential virtual meetings with all clinical staff, as well as hosting weekly support group sessions. Additionally, we hope that the resources and services available on our website are of assistance. We sincerely invite you to contact us if you, or someone you know, needs support with coping and healing in these trying times.

Coping With Civil Unrest, Community Violence, Mass Violence, and Trauma

Recent national events surrounding enduring patterns of discrimination and social injustice have been impacting many of us in the UMSL community. To ignore these issues and remain silent while these events erode the mental and physical health of our students, colleagues, and members of our community would be incongruent with our role as healthcare providers to the UMSL community. Health, Counseling, and Disability Access Services want to reach out to the campus community to show our support and offer assistance to anyone who may need it.

You may be experiencing a wide range of emotional reactions to legal decisions, media coverage, and other information or discussions about recent events. These reactions may include feelings of anger, fear, sadness/grief, disillusionment, frustration, disappointment and a desire for change. The staff at Health, Counseling, and Disability Access Services want to offer support to any community members impacted by recent events. We would also like to share some resources cultivated in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

  • Coping With Grief After Community Violence
    • This SAMHSA tip sheet introduces some of the signs of grief and anger after an incident of community violence, provides useful information about to how to cope with grief, and offers tips for helping children deal with grief.
  • Mass Violence/Community Violence
  • Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Coping With Retraumatization
    • In this tip sheet, SAMHSA defines re-traumatization as "reliving stress reactions experienced as a result of a traumatic event when faced with a new, similar incident,"notes that re-traumatization is common, and identifies ways to cope. The tip sheet lists events that may lead to re-traumatization; highlights re-traumatization signs and symptoms; and, in addition to suggestions for coping, offers resources for more information and support.
    • Learn more at the SAMHSA DTAC website.

Media Coverage

  • Media Coverage of Traumatic Events: Research on Effects
    • The National Center for PTSD presents information on the effects of intense media exposure following a disaster. This article describes the association between watching media coverage of traumatic events and stress symptoms.
  • Tips for Parents on Media Coverage
    • In this 2-page tip sheet, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network explains the effects that media coverage of a violent incident may have on children and teens and suggests ways for parents and other caregivers to help children and teens manage reactions to media coverage and the violent event. The tip sheet also includes tips for families with involvement in a violent incident.
Download an extensive list of coping resources.

Need to speak to a counselor?

Call 314-516-5711 to schedule an online intake.

Are you in crisis?

Walk-in services are still available Monday to Friday, am to PM in MSC 131. We can help you come up with a plan to stay safe.