Information Related to Traumatic Grief and Loss for Students

By now, most of us have heard of the horrible tragedy that took place over the weekend in Philomath, resulting in the death of one of our students and her infant son. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kelsey Baker, her son, Theo, and their family members and friends. Our hearts are also with Gustavo Martinez Aquepuncho, our student who has been charged with their murders and is now incarcerated, and his family in Peru.

Many have been understandably shaken by this incident, and some students may need additional assistance during this difficult time. I encourage you to talk with your family and friends, and seek support in one another. If you find you are having difficulty coping with this tragedy, please know that you may access OSU Counseling and Psychological Services by calling 541-737-2131.

What follows below are links to resources that may be helpful to you as you deal with your own reactions and help support others.

Common Reactions that Occur After a Tragic and/or Violent Event

Self Care

Helping Others

Signs That a Student Might Need Additional Support


Helpful Websites:

How to Make an Appointment at CAPS

CAPS Grief and Loss Resource Pages

Support for Homicide Victims Family and Friends:

Problems that Survivors of Murder often Face:

Common Reactions that Occur After a Tragic and/or Violent Event

Helping Others Through a Traumatic Loss or Event

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Self Care After a Traumatic Loss or Event

Taking care of yourself is important to prevent further problems and stress from developing. The following have been found to be helpful in coping with traumatic grief:

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Signs That a Student Might Need Additional Support

If you or a friend . . .

  1. Has excessive class/work absences
  2. Begins doing worse in class or not attending to daily job tasks
  3. Shows poor emotional control
  4. Has excessive moodiness or worrying
  5. Has sleeping and/or eating habits that change dramatically
  6. Shows unusual concern about personal health
  7. Has persistent depression
  8. Talks openly about suicide
  9. Engages in consistent risky behavior

When you or other students are . . .

  1. Cutting classes or missing obligations to be with this person
  2. Thinking and worrying a lot about this person
  3. Not sure what you should do
  4. When “helping” interferes with your getting your work finished or your obligations met

Ask yourself . . .

  1. Is this student’s behavior distressingly out of the ordinary?
  2. Is this beyond my skill level?
  3. Is the behavior getting worse?
  4. Does the behavior place anyone at risk?
  5. Am I feeling like I want to talk with someone about my observations and concerns?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, seek assistance and/or consult with a CAPS counselor, your professor or advisor, or another person you trust.