This message was emailed by Wake Forest Communications and External Relations to students, faculty and staff on Oct. 3 on behalf of Dean of Students Adam Goldstein and Interim Chief Diversity Officer José Villalba:
Dear Wake Forest Students, Faculty and Staff,
As a follow-up to President Hatch’s acknowledgement and condolences for those impacted by the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, we wanted to make sure the entire campus community received the supportive message below written by James Raper, director of the University Counseling Center.
We anticipate The Office of the Dean of Students, Office of the Chaplain, student organizations and others will share information soon about plans currently in the works for recognizing the Las Vegas incident.
Dean of Students
Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Look for helpers
The heartbreaking news of a mass shooting in Las Vegas drives me to reaffirm our role as being a supportive resource to the WFU community. You do not need to identify as a survivor or know a victim of violence to experience the emotional and physical effects of violent action. The impact of violence and terror can be immediate for some, and for others can not appear until some time has passed. For some, talking about the event, acknowledging the resulting feelings, and focusing on helping others can assist with reducing the negative emotional impact of violence. Talking with a mental health professional can also be a useful step in moving through the pain.
Our mental health services are available for all WFU students, and we invite you to view our Diversity Statement as one affirmation of our commitment to providing nonjudgmental listening and care. We also remain available as colleagues to Wake Forest staff and faculty who would benefit from consultation as we all continue the work of supporting one another and growing together.
For both support and referral to providers in your area, Wake Forest University students can speak with a mental health professional by contacting the University Counseling Center at 336-758-5273, 24 hours a day. WFU faculty and staff can find counseling and support through the university’s Employee Assistance Program. Please see below for additional information on how to care for yourself and others:
One of the best recommendations we can give on a day-to-day basis: work to find balance in the face of stress and anxiety. Take a break from media and news, connect with people around you, your thoughts, nature, or all of the above. And remember one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite people, Mr. Rogers:
“When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”