The election results and the end of the most divisive campaign season in recent history has had an impact on our campus. Reactions range from hurt and anger to confusion about why some are affected so negatively. Counseling and Psychological Services advocates for a campus climate that is supportive of all studentsâ mental health and this electionâs focus on traditionally marginalized groups has exacerbated their lived experiences of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and other forms of oppression. Any form of oppression negatively impacts mental health and deters academic success.
If you are not part of an oppressed group or are confused about othersâ reactions, we invite you to recognize that othersâ lived experiences are different from yours. Not living with oppression is a privilege and can affect our ability to have empathy for others in situations we have not personally experienced. Listen with understanding and curiosity to others in pain without a need to challenge or be right. If we are going to move forward together we must have compassion for others and be willing to make space for perspectives different from our own.
If you are having difficulty, your reaction is normal as events such as this can overwhelm your natural ability to cope. Reaching out is a sign of strength and one of the best strategies for dealing with this type of stress.We also suggest that you:
- Connect with support in your social circles and identity communities. Although you may need alone time, a pattern of isolating only compounds your experience.
- Take breaks from news sources and social media as constant exposure to triggering information should be avoided.
- If you wish to have a counselor come to your group to provide support, please call CAPS at (919) 660-1000.
- Drop by CAPS any time between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday. We have counselors available to assist you.
Danielle R. Oakley, PhD
Director, Counseling & Psychological Services
On behalf of CAPS Staff