Message from The Counseling Center
We will continue to offer in-person appointments this week and we anticipate for the remainder of the semester. If you are not feeling well or have any reason to believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 please refrain from presenting for in-person counseling. If you are in immediate distress call 911 or contact Doane Public Safety 402-826-8669 or Residence Life Emergency Line 402-418-1575. Otherwise, please contact one of the counselors via email to set up an appointment:
You can also email Nurse Kelly Jirovec at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-826-8265 to set up an appointment with a counselor.
Our in-person services might be affected by changes in University policies around COVID-19. Please email email@example.com if you have questions at any time.
For Students Leaving Campus
We are meeting this week to finalize our plans for providing mental health support for students leaving campus for the remainder of the semester. More information on those services will be forthcoming. For now, please email firstname.lastname@example.org regarding mental health-related concerns you may have or if you need assistance seeking mental health care in your local community. We want to be sure you have the support you need during this unusual and unsettling time.
Here are some helpful tips to help you cope with the challenges presented by COVID-19:
- Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:
- Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case-scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control.
- Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.
- Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own worries. If your day to day activities are disrupted by college closings, attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal bedtime and wake up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc.; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family.
- Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals such as Doane health professionals, national medical authorities, and your own medical doctor.
- Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.
- Seek support & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about on-campus and off-campus resources that are available. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others, or contact via email any of the counselors in the Counseling Center or Nurse Kelly Jirovec.
- Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another at all times as we address this challenge together. Be aware if your behavior or attitudes change towards others from another country, and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus. Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become more less compassionate and more fear-based.
Recognizing Distress - A Self-Checklist
- Increased worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed
- Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
- Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic or work performance or performance of other daily activities
- Sleep difficulties
- Excessive crying
- Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
- Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)
- A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
- Sudden anger or irritability, or noticeable changes in personality
It’s not unusual to experience some — or even several — of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainty and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support, and engage in your usual healthy coping strategies (e.g. moderate exercise; eating well; getting adequate sleep; practicing yoga, meditation, or some other mindfulness activity; take time for yourself; engage in a hobby or other fun activity, etc.).
If your distress continues or gets to the point that you are having difficulty managing your day-to-day activities, then seek professional help. Social distancing doesn't have to mean isolation. Stay connected as best as possible. The Counseling Center is open for in-person sessions this week and it is anticipated to be open for the remainder of the semester unless circumstances require this to change. Options for mental health support for students returning home are being finalized this week and more details will follow soon. For now, please contact via email any of the available counselors in the Counseling Center for mental health support or guidance.
Please take care of yourself and one another. Together we will get through this difficult time.