Supporting the Campus Community

May 8, 2017

Dear Faculty and Staff,

After last week’s tragedy, you may find yourself in a position to support students and each other through the grieving and healing process.

During this time, students may face a range of emotions that may affect their daily routine. If students you work with show signs of distress, these resources are available to help.

  • Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students: A resource for affected students, offering absence notifications, support and advocacy.
  • Counseling & Mental Health Center (CMHC): UT Austin students who would like to speak to a licensed mental health professional may walk in during business hours or call to discuss options. Throughout this week CMHC is offering drop-in support groups Monday through Thursday from 3-4 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Additionally, the CMHC Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 512-471-2255 for students.
  • Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL): BCAL provides a central resource to anyone who is concerned about an individual on our campus and may not be sure about how best to help them. By calling the advice line (512-232-5050), or submitting information online, campus and community support networks may be accessed, optimizing the chance that individuals will receive needed assistance. Contact BCAL if you are concerned about someone and want to help.
  • Student Ombuds: The Student Ombuds office is a free and voluntary confidential resource to listen to student concerns in a safe setting, provide conflict resolution techniques and identify solutions.

A full list of campus community resources can be found here.

Here are some tips to use when talking with students and colleagues:

  1. Acknowledge the tragedy. Saying something like, “I know that what happened on campus might be on your minds right now.”
  2. Allow students or your colleagues to share their concerns. You might say, “You may be experiencing a wide range of feelings and emotions right now. If you’d like to share those, feel welcome to do so.”
  3. Realize that it is common to see a variety of reactions, including being unable to focus or concentrate, feeling frustrated, angry, guilty, remorseful or numb.

If you need support, the Employee Assistance Program offers counseling and consultation services for faculty and staff at 512-471-3366.

Thank you again for your support during this challenging time.

Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students