Everyone at Student Health Services is outraged and deeply saddened at the ongoing violence and injustice disproportionately directed towards African Americans and people of color. Most recent examples include Joshua Ruffin, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Christian Cooper, Tony McDade and far too many others.
Feelings of fear, anger, anxiety, frustration and mistrust are normal given the ongoing environment of racial injustice and lack of safety. We know that the persistence of these injustices and the perpetual inaction further exacerbate feelings of anger, frustration, fatigue, mistrust and hopelessness.
We see you. We value you. We want you to be here and feel safe. We join with you and stand in solidarity.
Our mental health professionals in our Counseling & Psychiatry department are acutely aware of the real mental, emotional and physical toll that enduring, witnessing, experiencing or having knowledge of ongoing discrimination and chronic feelings of unsafety can have on a person. Racial trauma is real and has a compounding effect from generation to generation.
Student Health Services is committed to creating a campus culture of inclusivity, justice and community involvement. We thoroughly believe that positive change requires the investment of all people – not just those who have been directly affected. Staying silent is not acceptable. It is all of our responsibility to act with integrity by actively and clearly speaking out against racism, discrimination and all forms of injustice.
We will continue striving to offer culturally competent services and resources. We also commit to setting the example of personal responsibility and accountability to ensure the ongoing growth of our staff and the establishment of a safe environment for all students regardless of race, sex, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions or political affiliation.
We believe in the power of humanity to overcome these injustices and will work diligently to that end.
Counseling & Psychiatry will continue to be available for students who want to talk about the various impacts systemic racism and overt discrimination have on mental health or in other areas of life.
Yours in health,
Student Health Services staff