In the wake of the tragic circumstances that occurred at Virginia Tech University, many in our community will be forced to wrestle with and confront some tough questions and concerns. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families, as well as the broader campus community in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Times like these challenge our individual and collective sensibilities as we seek to desperately cling to notions of life that are far more predictable, less scary, and less unsettling. As people struggle to cope with this horrific tragedy, it is likely that some will experience a broad range of emotional reactions. The range of thoughts and feelings might include anxiety, confusion, depression, insecurity, anger, resentment, sadness, vulnerability, and fear. How long the feelings and emotion persist is extremely personal; for some this tragedy has activated older repressed traumas.  Some may even experience difficulty sleeping, eating, and concentrating on their studies.

We want you to know that these feelings are normal and reasonable, and consistent with what mental health professionals predict. Over time, these feelings will diminish for most people.  When these symptoms persist over time well beyond what appears to be universally normal, it is critical that the individual receive an intervention and support.

If there are students who experience any of these symptoms, or you are someone who would just like someone to talk to, we invite you to contact the Health Center  at (510) 723 – 7625.   For staff or faculty, we invite you to contact the Mental Health Psychological Services Counselor Intern for consultation, or Mental Health Clinical Supervisor, ValJeán Dale (510) 723-6615.

We want each member of our community to know that we are here for you in ways that both ensure, to the best of our ability, your safety, as well as address your emotional and psychological well being in this time of extreme distress.