What Can You Do As OSU Community Leaders?

  • Reach out by letting students know that you are available and can offer support.
  • Listen. Simply acknowledging feelings is important. Allow room for people to have their feelings, even as you try to reassure them.
  • Encourage others to give themselves time to heal, to mourn the losses, and to be patient with changes in their emotional state.
  • Respect their need for privacy; some students may prefer to talk with others in their support network
  • Be flexible with timelines and deadlines.
  • Schedule an all-staff meeting to discuss facts.
    • There should be no mandate for process or discussion of reactions
    • CAPS can be available to provide information regarding reactions to trauma
  • Arrange for informal and safe opportunities for students to gather to provide mutual support and share reactions.
    • Invite CAPS to facilitate reactions if requested by a student group
  • Help others communicate their experience in ways that feel comfortable to them - such as talking with family or close friends, or keeping a diary.
  • Follow-up. Arrange to meet or call the person again. This demonstrates concern and understanding for their emotional pain.
  • To be helpful to others, you need to take care of yourself and tend to your loved ones as you may feel stretched and overwhelmed due to trying to meet the demands of your community.
  • Be accepting of your own feelings and reactions as well as those of others.
  • Remember recovering from a tragic event or loss takes time and cannot be "fixed with a quick remedy." Sometimes your intervention will not be able to make someone feel better right away. Be prepared for this and don't take it as a comment on your helping skills.

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