Message of Support, Solidarity, and Coping Recommendations from

Student Counseling and Health Services 

 

As stated in the message below, Student Counseling Services stands in solidarity with those at risk of racist violence, with those who take antiracist actions. We are committed to doing our part to support equity in the context of our role in the community. In light of the ongoing violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities - as adjunctive resources to those included in the message below we offer the following:

 

Resources to facilitate AAPI individuals’ wellness and resilience given the current context: 

National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association 
Anti-racism Resources to Support Asian American, Pacific Islander Communities
Asian American Feminist Antibodies - Squarespace

 

Resources to facilitate learning about and witnessing of AAPI experiences in America:

Self Evident: Asian Americans’ Stories
5-Part PBS Docuseries: Asian Americans
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Stories

 

Resources to facilitate sustainable antiracist justice-oriented action:

How to Respond to Coronovrius Racism 
Stop AAPI Hate Resource Guide
Hate Crime Reporting Portal from Asian Americans Advancing Justice
How to Talk to Parents about Race if You're Adopted or Multiracial
How to talk to your Asian immigrant Parents About Racism While Considering Their Lived Experiences
Be an Ally: How to Help Fight Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia

 

In keeping with the Institution's mission and values, we know that Connecticut College community members are compassionate, empowered, and actively engaged in the campus, local, and global communities. Given the aforementioned, we know that you may be feeling many things in response to the Nation’s most recent efforts to confront deeply institutionally embedded anti-Black racism. We stand in solidarity with those who are at risk of racist violence, with those who are taking action, and we are committed to doing our part to support equity in the context of our role in the community. As the Connecticut College community staff persons honored with tending to and advocating for students' mental and physical health at this time, we think it important to speak to the connection between inequity, the fight for justice, and mental health and wellbeing. We hope that the words and resources included in this communication will assist you in maintaining your wellness during this time.  

Pervasive institutional racism and other manifestations of bigotry disproportionately impact marginalized communities; they are, as we are seeing at present (and have seen in the past), life-threatening. Systemic racism and injustice have a deleterious effect on the mental and physical health of both its targets and the larger society. These realities are painful and difficult to process and "sit with." Accordingly, we encourage you not to simply sit with them. We suggest that following a period of reflection, you work to actively confront these realities and honor your related emotions.

Confronting the reality of inequity and injustice and its impact on human lives is a part of the process of moving toward mental health and wellbeing for individuals, it is also a necessary means of creating societal change. We encourage Conn community members to stay aware of and to engage with these realities by pursuing accurate historic and current information. Additionally, we encourage taking related empowered actions to facilitate change. Know that change-oriented action comes in a variety of forms; for some, it may involve written or verbal communication either in small spheres of influence or public forums. Others may engage in protests aimed at legislative reform. All change-oriented action is meaningful and has the potential to serve as a valuable contribution. Regardless of the specific mode of action, change-oriented processes facilitate hope, understanding, agency, and connection with others. Hope, understanding, agency, and connection between people increase mental health and wellbeing. Notably, these (among other things) are factors that may serve to reduce the biases that underlie discriminatory actions against others; the very change targeted by the actions. 

We know that there is an emotional and physical toll related to confronting reality, speaking truth to power, protesting, and working toward equity and justice. Accordingly, we offer the following recommendations related to engagement in that work: honor your limits by boundary setting, allow time and space for pauses and reflection, take breaks (or time away from the action) as needed, engage in life-affirming pleasurable activities in between work to confront and address inequity-related realities. The treatment of Black people and other marginalized communities in our Nation often fails to reflect an appreciation for and awareness of their humanity. Honoring the full humanity of others and yourself is at such times a radical act. Radical self-care is an integral part of sustainable work toward justice, surviving, and thriving during times of adversity. We urge Conn community members to couple change-focused engagement with radical self-care. Tend to your physical and mental health by engaging in regular practices of mindfulness, emotional processing, counseling support as necessary, and connections with others. 

Although we are not open during the summer months, we offer the resources that follow this letter to the community at this time. We look forward to engaging again with you all in the fall. Until then, please stay well and take good care,

Your Student Counseling Services and Student Health Services Staff 

Resources to support your sustainable engagement in change-oriented action:

Resources for coping with and confronting racism for Black individuals and communities (curated by the University Of Illinois)

Resources to facilitate antiracism (curated by the University Of Illinois)

Resources to facilitate ongoing efforts to coping with the global pandemic: