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Heightened counseling services available for students, faculty in wake of incident

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Just after 6 p.m. on Monday, University President Michael Drake sent an email to students, staff and families of Ohio State students regarding the incident that occurred outside of Watts Hall. In the message, Drake stressed the university’s concern for student safety and expressed consolation and support for the victims of the attack. He encouraged students and staff “in need of assistance” to use resources at OSU, such as the Counseling and Consultation Service and Ohio State’s faculty and staff Employee Assistance Program.

Throughout the day on Tuesday, there will be additional counseling available in the Ohio Union Performance Hall and at the RPAC in room B145. This is in addition to Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services main office in room 1030 in Lincoln Tower and the fourth floor of Younkin Success Center.

Micky Sharma, director of Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service, said the heightened counseling services will be extended depending on student response. Phone counseling and after-hours response is available at 614-292-5766.

Sharma said it’s important for students to talk about their feelings on the day’s events.

“If they witnessed it or were impacted by the tragedy in any way, I would encourage them to talk about it, not just keep it to themselves,” he said. “Talk about how you’re doing, and get support in that way.”

He added students should take a break from watching or reading coverage of the incident. He said they should honor their natural emotional responses as well.

“Students shouldn’t feel ‘I should be more upset,’ or ‘I’m too upset by this.’ Whatever you’re feeling is OK, and what you’re feeling may change over time,” Sharma said. “So you may be very upset today, and next week not feel upset, or the opposite could happen.”

Students should seek counseling if they are feeling affected by the incident daily and feel they can’t complete their daily goals.  

For faculty and staff, the email said individual and group counseling is available via Employee Assistance Program at 700 Ackerman Rd. and 24 hours a day at 800-678-6265.

Sharma encouraged loved ones to contact students directly, and if they cannot reach them, are advised to contact Student Life’s Office of Parent and Family Relations. The office is available for contact via email and phone at 614-292-9153.

 

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