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Counseling Center

Welcome to the UIC Counseling Center

Questions, choices, concerns and changes are all part of what students experience during college. Many times you can work through them on your own or with the help of friends, family, or a partner. Sometimes, the issues can feel too private, overwhelming or complicated to share with someone you know or you may have become isolated from available support. Talking with a Counseling Center professional can provide the safe, supportive, confidential setting to explore your concerns towards improving your emotional, physical and academic functioning.

Fortunately, the Counseling Center provides diverse services to help students deal with stress, handle a crisis or trauma, cope with the transition to college, gain strength from gender and cultural identity, or manage serious mental illness and many other issues. Our counselors can help students increase resilience and positive well-being by developing effective coping and problem-solving skills. The Counseling Center is supported by the Health Service Fee as assessed to all students enrolled at the university and therefore enrolled students are eligible for Counseling Center mental health services without additional cost.

If you are a faculty, staff, parent, partner, or student who is concerned about a distressed student, the Counseling Center also provides consultation to assist in determining how you might best help.

We also provide informational presentations and workshops relevant to college mental health.

Stop by or give us a call. We're here for you.

 

A Message to Staff, Faculty, and Students

Responding to the recent national election

The recent national election has been particularly impactful leading to a range of reactions including sadness, anger, and fear as well as excitement, pride, and relief. The UIC Counseling Center staff wants those in our student community who have found recent election results in the U.S. unexpectedly difficult, anxiety-provoking, or threatening to know that we are here for you, for your healing, and for your resilience. You may find yourself struggling with the personal impact of the election, the tone of the national discussions, or if you are experiencing negative treatment, threats or more subtle forms of oppression because of your race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, country of origin or other aspect of your identity, please consider the Counseling Center as a safe space. You may find yourself within a circle of friends or classmates who do not share the same reactions as you. These interactions may evoke strong emotions and questions and may intensify your reactions. We are available to help you in processing your reactions and feelings. The Counseling Center is also participating in opportunities on campus to provide supportive listening and empathy for our students to come together.

The Counseling Center offers its services in accord with the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association whose leadership recently provided the following message to its membership:

"Now is a time to unite -- to work for what each of us believes to be good and true, and to provide hope to our diverse communities that we can, in many cases, find common ground. As our social psychology tells us, we must listen not only to those who agree with us but also to those who do not, and we need to work to understand each other more fully. It is a time for all of us to clarify what we stand for, to stay true to our values, and model civility and hope for the future. We must recommit ourselves to promoting health and well-being for all our people, most especially during this time of stress and concern. Now is a time for compassion and healing, a time to promote our inherent resilience."

The UIC Counseling Center is committed to doing so.

Additional tips and resources that may be helpful if you're feeling overwhelmed by the recent election:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: check your emotional state before you engage in conversations. Are you in a space to dialogue?
  • Focus on tasks or events that are in your control
  • Connect with friends, family, a community, or safe space to ground and support you
  • Focus on the present and shift away from the future focus
  • Monitor your media use–check your reactions before and after taking in the information; set time limits
  • Opt out of unproductive conversations. Pay attention to whether the discussion is going to benefit anyone or just increase stress levels.
  • Take care of basic needs such as eating, sleeping, drinking water, playing, and laughing. Incorporate activities that recharge you and relax you every day
  • Volunteer for an organization or cause that supports your values and interests

See also:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/if-youre-overwhelmed-by-the-election-heres-what-you-can-do-now_us_5822c7d0e4b0e80b02cdf133


In Response to recent acts of violence
Given the tragic news of ongoing violent, race-based traumas and deaths, the Counseling Center wants the UIC community to know that we remain available as a source of support. You do not need to identify as a survivor or know a victim to experience the emotional and physical effects of violent action and oppression. The impact of violence and oppression can be immediate for some, and for others may not appear until sometime later. Discussing and recognizing the impact that injustices, fears, threats, and deaths have on our lives and on those to whom we feel close or identify, can take a toll on one’s mental health and well-being. Meeting with a mental health professional can be a useful step in managing the pain, addressing important needs for self-care, and coping with violent trauma and oppression. The Counseling Center and its InTouch Hotline strive to provide services that embrace our UIC students’ diverse experiences and identities. Some additional resources you may find helpful at this time:

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2016/07/tips-for-self-care-when-police-brutality-has-you-questioning-humanity-and-social-media-is-enough/

http://www.div17.org/resources/ferguson-mo-michael-brown-decision-resources/

https://www.wheelock.edu/Documents/About/racialtraumaisrealManuscript.pdf

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx

http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA14-4888/SMA14-4888.pdf

(Coping with Grief after Community Violence)


In Support of our LGBTQ Community members and Campus Allies at this time of national tragedy
The Counseling Center wanted our UIC community to know of, and have access to, information and support at this time of national tragedy and grief. The Counseling Center is committed to social justice and to a campus culture of inclusiveness, respect, tolerance, and enthusiasm for diversity. In the wake of acts of terror or acts of hate, people may have a variety of reactions from sadness to anger to feeling numb. We recognize that members of our LGBTQ community may have experienced homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic violence, or fear of violence, in the past and this recent tragedy may stir up such fears and emotional pain. We are also aware that individuals with a similar background to a perpetrator's identity can be unfairly victimized in the aftermath of such a tragedy.

We encourage you to seek and find safe spaces and people with whom you can share your reactions. Below are some resources that may be helpful to you in grieving, responding to and to begin healing from, this recent tragedy. The Counseling Center provides students with accessible and culturally sensitive mental health services to promote overall wellness and help you to make the most of your learning experience at UIC. Please also refer to other information and services offered by the Counseling Center elsewhere on this website, and if we can be of assistance to you, please contact us.

 

Tips for Coping with Grief After Community Violence :

http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA14-4888/SMA14-4888.pdf

(from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) )


http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/mass-shooting.aspx

http://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/coping-in-the-aftermath-of-a-shooting


Understanding and Tolerance:

http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/lgbt/index.aspx

http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/policy/

http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

(American Psychological Association)


http://genderandsexuality.uic.edu/

(UIC Gender & Sexuality Center)


http://ccslgbtqpa.uic.edu/

(UIC Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer People, and Allies)


https://aacc.uic.edu/our-mission/centers-for-cultural-understanding-social-change/

(UIC Centers for Cultural Understanding and Change)


Some of the psychological issues in gun violence from APA reports and policies on gun violence:

http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/gun-violence-prevention.aspx

Location
Suite 2010
Student Services Building
1200 West Harrison

Tel: (312) 996-3490

Fax: (312)996-7645

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