Dear MCPA Members,
We are all saddened by the tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the attack on the LGBTQ community. We stand with all of those impacted by this horrible violence, including Muslims who are often wrongly subjected to violence and harrassment after incidents such as these, and we wanted to reach out and offer our support to each of you. As individuals who work in higher education, we are dedicated to creating safe and inclusive campus communities for all people. In times like these, we often respond to the needs of others and forget about our own needs as we process this senseless act of violence. We wanted to share the response from ACPA, which is at the bottom of this message, and let you know that more resources will be shared by ACPA in the coming weeks. We also wanted to share the following information from Will Miller, a colleague in Pennsylvania CPA:
· Attend to self-care. While it may seem counter-intuitive to think about taking care of yourself first, you cannot be of service to others if you are unstable. Monitor all of your physical health needs - being sure to eat, sleep, exercise, and (if possible) maintain a normal daily routine.
· Pay attention to your emotional health. Remember that a wide range of feelings during these difficult times are common. Know that others are also experiencing emotional reactions and may need your time and patience to put their feelings and thoughts in order.
· Try to recognize when you or those around you may need extra support. It is not uncommon for individuals of all ages to experience stress reactions when exposed (even through media) to shootings or mass violence. Changes in eating and sleeping habits, energy level, and mood are important signs of distress. Watch for intense emotional reactions, such as anxiety or a strong need for retribution in adults. When necessary, point individuals to licensed mental health professionals who can provide needed support.
· Avoid overexposure to media. While it is important to stay informed, media portrayals of shootings and mass deaths have been shown to cause acute stress and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Limit your exposure and take a break from news sources.
· Maintain contact with friends and family. These individuals can provide you with emotional support to help deal with difficult times.
· Focus on your strength base. Maintain practices that you have found to provide emotional relief. Remind yourself of people and events which are meaningful and comforting.
· Talk to others as needed. It is important to ask for help if you are having trouble recovering and everyday tasks seem difficult to manage.
Please see ACPA's response to the tragedy here: http://www.myacpa.org/article/acpa-responds-tragedy-orlando-florida and http://www.myacpa.org/blogs/orlando-2016-shooting/impact-orlando-massacre-human-engineered-terrorism-students-campus
The MCPA Executive Board