Take Back the Night 2016

The 25th anniversary Take Back the Night will be held on October 27, 2016. Students from Loyola, Tulane, Dillard, Xavier, the University of New Orleans, and the University of Holy Cross will join with the New Orleans community to participate in this important event to end sexual violence.

The event begins with a rally at Loyola’s Marquette Horseshoe and is followed by a march and an open-mic speak out. Funds raised by the event support local survivor service agencies including Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, The New Orleans Family Justice Center, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, and Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR).

Please join us to empower survivors and stop sexual violence!

For more information on how you can become involved, contact Erin Shapiro, Staff Counselor at eeshapir@loyno.edu

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7 things you need to know about drinking in college:

1. Not everyone is doing it. While it may seem like everyone is getting wasted, 7-10 college students drink 0-3 drinks when they go out, if they drink at all.

2. You have more fun if you drink less: Want to feel buzzed, not depressed? Peak buzz is reached at Blood Alcohol Content (BAC )s between .02 and .06. Use the Last Call app to keep tabs on your BAC.

3. Use PUBS to remember the signs of alcohol poisoning: Puking (while passed out), Unresponsive to stimulation (pinch or shaking), Breathing (slow, shallow or no breathing), Skin (blue, cold or clammy). Call LUPD immediately at 504-865-3434  if you see even one of these signs!

4. You’re not going to get in trouble for saving a life (your own or someone else’s!): Through Loyola’s Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan program, students who seek medical assistance for themselves or for another student due to intoxication are exempt from alcohol/drug policy violations. When in doubt, call LUPD.

5. Mixing meds and drinking makes you more likely to blackout faster. Don’t take ADHD drugs and drink. Don’t mix drinking and drugs in general.

6. Drunk means no: Consent cannot be given if someone is incapacitated. An estimated 90% of college sexual assaults occur under the influence of alcohol.

7. The drinking age is 21: You know it, we know it. Enough said.

Want to know more? Concerned about your drinking? Come to the University Counseling Center to talk to a counselor, or give us a call at 504-865-3835.

Additionally, the University Counseling Center and the Graduate Counseling program at Loyola will be hosting a Substance Abuse Screening on Thursday, October 20th in the Audubon Room of the Danna Center from 12:00-2:00 p.m. for any and all who wish to be assessed to see if they are experiencing any substance abuse issues. The screening is Free, Confidential, and Private!

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Do you ever find yourself agreeing to help a friend or do someone a favor that you don’t have time for? Have you ever regretted doing that favor and get frustrated by how you keep finding yourself in this position? Does other people’s stress seem to overwhelm you? Sometimes it can feel like you’ve got nothing left to give at the end of the day.

It is hard to say no to people, especially our friends and family. Your sense of obligation to make others happy can be so strong at times. How can you NOT be there for the people that you love and care for? But at some point you have to take a step back and ask, who is taking care of me?

Setting boundaries is key so building and sustaining all types of relationships, friendship, intimate partnerships, even relationships with family members. The easiest way to begin to set boundaries is to say no. If you cannot aid a friend or assist a parent, or simply do not feel like you have more to give in the moment, saying no can be an effective way to alleviate stress in your own life.  

Here are five ways to say no in order to set boundaries:

1.     No thanks, I can’t.
2.     I don’t have time today.
3.     Maybe next time?
4.     I have a lot of work to catch up on.
5.     No.   
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Webster’s dictionary defines fomite as, “An object that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission.” So, with that in mind, how long do you think bacteria or a virus can survive outside the body? Well, this depends on several factors including: 1) the type of bacteria or virus, the surface it’s on (a fomite), and 2) what the environment is like.

First, let’s discuss the three most common viruses on college campuses across the country. These include the common cold, the flu, and stomach viruses. The cold virus can survive on indoor surfaces for more than seven days but their ability to cause infection reduces rapidly over those seven days. Think about a surface that you have touched, such as a door knob infected with a cold virus. You are more likely to be infected by the cold virus on day one than on day seven because it is more potent on day one. The flu virus doesn’t live as long outside the body as the common cold virus. The flu virus is capable of being transferred from hard surfaces to hands for 24-hours but has a unique ability to survive as droplets in the air for several hours. Lastly are the stomach viruses. There are many different viruses and bacteria that can occur in the stomach but the one that is typically seen in college settings is the Norovirus. Studies have shown that Norovirus can last for weeks on hard surfaces and these cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Unfortunately, we can’t live inside of a bubble to prevent the spread of these viruses but there are ways to reduce risk.

• The most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently.

• If you are not able to get to a sink to wash your hands, carry hand sanitizer with you for easy access.

• Keep your hands out of your face, especially if you can’t wash them as much as you need to.

• Push open doors with your elbow or your hip. If you must use your hands to open a door, use a tissue, paper towel or the bottom of your shirt. The flu virus can survive on a tissue for only 15 minutes.

• Don’t share anything! People forget about utensils, especially when everything in New Orleans tastes so good. If someone wants to taste what you are eating, have them use their own utensil.

• If you are sick, washing your hands is the most important thing you can do to prevent spreading the virus. You should also cough and sneeze into your elbow to keep your hands clear and clean.

• Protect yourself from contracting the flu by getting a flu shot. Remember that the flu vaccine does not give you the flu. The flu vaccine may cause you to have a low grade fever and body aches but not the actual virus. The flu vaccine does not give you protection from the flu virus until two weeks after the vaccine was given so get your vaccine early.

Loyola Student Health has partnered with Walgreen’s pharmacy to offer free flu shots on Monday, October 3; Wednesday, October 5; and Thursday, October 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day. Please bring your pharmacy and/or insurance card to receive the vaccine free of charge. Vouchers will be offered to the uninsured. No appointment is necessary and walk-ins are encouraged! Student Health is located on the basement level of the Danna Center, directly below the Orleans Room and can be reached at (504) 865-3326 for more information.

 

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Depression is a disturbance in mood that is a marked change from a person’s normal mood. It can include having feelings of sadness, inadequacy, guilt, hopelessness, distress, worthlessness, loneliness, and/or disappointment. Normal people experience depression from time to time, but for some, depression can be more intense, more frequent and last longer. It can become problematic if it causes a person to feel deep emotional pain and to have difficulty functioning at their normal level. For example, some people have trouble getting out of bed to go to work or classes, or can’t seem to study. When depression starts interfering with a person’s life and ability to get things done, or when it causes a person to feel miserable much of the time, seeing a counselor can make a big difference.

Symptoms of Depression
Depression can range from being mild to severe. Therefore, not everyone who is depressed will have all of the symptoms listed below – but everyone who is depressed will have some of them.

Changes in Feelings Changes in Behavior Physical Complaints
• Depressed mood
• Feelings of worthlessness and/or guilt and/or hopelessness
• Lack of pleasure in things that used to be enjoyable
• Decreased sexual desire
• Low self esteem • Isolation and Withdrawal
• Irritability
• Concentration Problems
• Crying Spells
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Neglect of Appearance and/or Responsibilities • Sleep problems (too little or too much)
• Appetite changes (loss of appetite or overeating)
• Weight change
• Lack of energy, fatigue
• Physical problems

Causes of Depression
There is no single cause of depression; it can be caused by a wide variety of things. Depression might be the result of an upsetting life event like the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. Or, it might be due to other kinds of things such as personality, biological and/or genetic factors, environmental stressors, physical illness, maladaptive thought patterns, etc. Certain substances, like alcohol and some drugs (even some prescription drugs) can also bring about depression. Sometimes there is no obvious reason for feeling depressed. No matter what the cause of the depression is, it can be helpful to learn more effective strategies and coping skills for dealing with it.

Combating Depression
There are a lot of things you can do to get control of your depression. The first step is recognizing the change in your mood. This can serve as a cue, or trigger for you to take action. Suggestions for some of the things you might try are listed below:
• Learn to decrease negative self-talk and self-defeating thoughts
• Increase physical activity; exercise has been shown to decrease depression
• Spend time with friends; fight the urge to withdraw and isolate yourself
• Learn relaxation techniques – depression and anxiety often go hand in hand
• Increase pleasurable activities, even if you don’t feel like it
• Set goals and award yourself for accomplishing them
• Learn how to be assertive – assertive people feel better about themselves
• Avoid substance abuse; some drugs (for example alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, inhalants and certain prescription medications) can cause or complicate depression
• Seek professional help if your depression lasts more than two weeks, interferes with your normal functioning, or causes deep emotional pain

Resources
Loyola University Counseling Center: Rm 208, Dana Student Center, 504-865-3835
24-hour Crisis Line: If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call the UCC at 504-865-3835 and Press 1 to speak to the Counselor On-Call.

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Anxiety and stress can be a normal part of everyday life. Anxiety looks and feels different in each individual person. Some symptoms of anxiety can include: restlessness, trouble sleeping, headaches, stomach issues, irritability, panic attacks, and difficulty focusing.

College can be a particularly stressful time and it is crucial to take care of yourself and recognize when you are feeling anxious.

The University Counseling Center offers many resources for anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed feel free to call the office at (504)865-3835 to make an individual appointment.

Another free and confidential resource offered by the UCC include the Anxiety Management Workshops. These skill-building workshops are offered on Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30pm in the Student Success Center (Marquette 112). Topics that will be covered will include Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Rewiring Your Anxious Brain, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Self-Care & Stress Management.

According to students who participated last year, 85% reported a reduction in overall anxiety after one workshop. Prior to attending to workshop, 85% of students reported being “somewhat to overwhelmingly anxious” and after the workshop 77% of students reported being “a little bit anxious or not anxious at all”.

So come and check out the Anxiety Management Workshops! And in the mean-time…

 

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Worldwide Suicide Prevention Week is September 4-11, 2016. It’s a week to affirm our commitment to helping ourselves and others and to acknowledge that we sometimes struggle and that reaching out isn’t weak: it’s strong.

How do you help someone who’s suicidal?

A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. Most suicidal people are ambivalent – they don’t want to die – they just want to stop hurting.

Here are some “Don’ts” that apply to anyone who might be suicidal:

• Do not leave him/her alone or let him/her go off alone

• Do not be judgmental

• Do not argue, debate, analyze, or moralize

• Do not try to cheer him/her up

• Do not try to shock or challenge (i.e., say “Oh, go ahead and do it if you want to!”)

• Do not accept “I’m okay now.” (Nobody recovers immediately from suicidality.)

• Do not be sworn to secrecy

• Do not feel like you have to manage this alone: get help from the University Counseling Center, Resident Ministers, or other resources on campus.

Here are some “Do’s”:

• Ask if he/she is thinking about suicide

• Take the intent or threat very seriously

• Listen

• Show that you care and say it

Is there immediate apparent danger? 

If you see any of these warning signs, there is IMMEDIATE, APPARENT DANGER:

• Weapons, pills or other means visible or talked about (“I know where my dad keeps his gun.”)

• The person has a clear plan(“I’m going to get in my car tomorrow and drive off of the Causeway.”)

• The person voices intent (“I want to end my life, and I’m going to kill myself.”)

If there is no apparent immediate danger (and no lethal means in view):

• Tell her/him that help is available and you can see that he/she gets it.

• Call the UCC and speak with the counselor on-call: 504-865-3835 (press 1)

If there is apparent immediate danger – ACT:

• Say that you are getting help

• Call LUPD at (504) 865-3434 and tell them “I’m with someone who is suicidal.” They will help you get emergency services.

Remember: You cannot predict death by suicide, but you can identify people who are at increased risk for suicidal behavior, take precautions, and refer them for effective treatment.

 

 

 

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If you or someone you know is negatively impacted by the flooding in Southeastern Louisiana, please know that we are here to help. Any or all of the following are reasons to seek counseling at this time:

  • You are personally impacted by the loss of your home, possessions or loved ones.
  • You are experiencing sadness or anxiety remembering loss from Katrina or other storms.
  • You are overwhelmed with feelings of secondhand trauma from the news, social media, or losses suffered by friends and/or family.

You may be experiencing difficulty sleeping, flashbacks, increased vigilance, feelings of hopelessness, or anxiety about the future. While these responses are normal, it doesn’t make them pleasant or comfortable. Make an appointment at the UCC if you’d like help managing some of these feelings, or if you just need a safe space to talk.

Call 504-865-3835 to make an appointment. If you need to speak with a counselor immediately, ask to speak to the counselor-on-call, or press 1 after hours.

In addition, Optum, a leading health and behavioral health services company, is offering a free emotional-support help line.

The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Remember: you are not alone, and we are here for you.

 

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Congratulations!  You’ve made it to the starting line!  Probably not what you expected to read as the spring 2016 semester comes to a close.   But, if you reframe your thinking a bit from completing the end of the semester to anticipating the beginning of summer, you will probably feel relieved, excited, and ready to begin a new adventure.  After a little R&R, of course.

A few questions to get you growing forward toward an optimistic outlook:

  • What does your starting line look like?
  • Are you graduating and moving on to a new opportunity?
  • Are you taking a gap year to volunteer and/or travel?
  • Are you returning home for the summer but will return to Loyola for the fall?
  • What are your short-term goals and strategies to reach those?
  • How about your long-term goals?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?  How will you get there?

Keeping your hopes and dreams in mind and having a future to look forward to are ways to enhance motivation and maintain a positive attitude.  It’s also good practice to have a trusted mentor in your life to gain support and advice as you work toward continuous improvement, whether that be personal, professional, or both.

Wishing you the best of success no matter the path your journey takes and with each starting line that you face!

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The NOLA festin’ has begun! The fun of the festivals is here and will continue on our calendars until the end of the semester. As the old saying goes here in NOLA, “We live to eat; we don’t eat to live”. Even though good food and festivals are a part of the culture, it is important to be mindful of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle with finals approaching. Here are a few helpful hints to stay safe and healthy during festivals AND finals:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet including fruits and vegetables; reserve your “cheats” for special occasions

2. In between the occasional po’boy, try to incorporate these brain power foods into your diet: blueberries, whole grains, tomatoes, nuts, fish, and leafy green veggies

3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night

4. Exercise regularly

5. Take a multivitamin daily

6. Manage your stress with techniques that have worked for you in the past or seek help if you are unable to manage stress on your own

7. Avoid cigarette and alcohol use

8. When going out, make sure you are accompanied by friends at all times

9. Be aware of your surroundings and report any unusual activity to the authorities

10. Do not accept drinks from people you don’t know

11. With the warmer weather festivities, it’s all about fun in the sun! Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a hat.

12. Hydrate well with water!

Be kind to your body and it will be kind to you! 

If you need any medical advice on healthy living, please visit us in Student Health Services located in the basement of the Danna Center.

 

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