Counseling offered in after-effect

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Counseling offered in after-effect

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Issue date: 4/18/07 Section: News
Matthew K. Ing
Ka Leo Editor in Chief

Two days ago, the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, to many students, felt like a relatively safe academic environment. But after Monday's massacre at Virginia Polytechnic University, mixed feelings have filled the campus.

Delcey Pa, a UHM freshman planning to major in business, first learned about the shooting from friends late Monday morning.

"Since I heard about the shooting, in the back of my mind, as I walk around, I know something like that could happen, but I really don't think it would," Pa said. "I'm just glad I wasn't there."

Out of 20 students interviewed by Ka Leo, all 20 felt that there was a possibility - though highly unlikely - that an incident similar to the Virginia Tech shooting could occur at UHM.

"In Hawai'i, we have more family and more aloha, I guess," Pa said. "In the mainland, it's a whole different perspective and whole separate world. But it could happen."

Sophomore Mark Villegas agreed that the chances of a shooting were highly unlikely, but he said that the incident prompted him to reanalyze his campus safety.

"It (the shooting) made me curious, what would have happened at UH," Villegas said. "If there were two shootings in the dorms, would security be able to prevent it from happening somewhere else on campus?"

On Monday afternoon, UHM interim Chancellor Denise Konan offered her condolences and support to students through various campus resources in a mass e-mail.

Among the resources mentioned was the Counseling and Student Development Center, "a University service that provides a variety of counseling and testing services for students and uses a holistic approach to promote wellness and personal success," according to the e-mail. The Counseling Center, located in the Queen Lili'uokalani Student Service Center, Room 302, offers free and confidential services to students.

Jeff Brooks-Harris, PhD, a psychologist and counselor with the Counseling Center for 12 years, said that he hasn't seen an influx of appointments since Monday's incident, but he said that's typical in an event such as this.

"Most students are not going to choose to go to a counselor," Brooks-Harris said. "It's probably much more important they talk to each other."

Just as counselors urged students at Virginia Tech's convocation service yesterday, the American Psychological Association suggests as a first step in reacting to the shooting to "talk about it."

Psychologists from college campuses around the nation compiled a Web site yesterday with resources on how to deal with the psychological after-effects of the shooting, available at http://www.apa.org.

Other recommendations include limiting the amount of news coverage you expose yourself to, helping others do something productive and giving yourself time to grieve or experience a full range of reactive emotions.

Brooks-Harris said that, just as after Sept. 11, students in Hawai'i experience mainland tragedy at a less severe level than those did in New York or New Jersey.

"But in any crisis, whether it's a plane crashing into the World Trade Center or a professor committing suicide or a shooting in Blacksburg, it brings things closer to home," he said. "When we have our own preexisting fears and doubts, these things could bring them up, causing people to feel unsafe."

The Counseling and Student Development Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and always has at least one psychologist on call. Students should call 956-7927 to make an appointment.


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Original Source: The Voice - Ka Leo
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Matthew K. Ing

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2008-03-12

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Kacey Beddoes

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Kumari Sherreitt <editor@kaleo.org>

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eng

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Matthew K. Ing, "Counseling offered in after-effect," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1815, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1815 (accessed October 30, 2014).