This has been a long and difficult semester. As a community we have experienced significant losses that impact each of us as individuals and collectively. We want you to know that we are here for you, and to encourage you to reach out if you need help in the coming weeks. Not sure how that works? Below are some options. All services are free and confidential, and can be accessed by calling 504-865-3835:

1. UCC Counselor On-Call: Stressed or depressed at 4:00 a.m. and need to talk? Call the UCC to be immediately connected to a counselor, 24/7, 365. During business hours, call 504-865-3835 and ask to talk to the Counselor On-Call; after hours and on weekends, call 504-865-3835 and press 1.

2. Psychological Counseling: Need some extra support? Anxious about school, relationships, or life in general? Sad, lonely, feeling helpless or hopeless? Dealing with trauma or intrusive thoughts? Struggling with personal mental health issues? Want to make a change, but unsure how to start? We can help. Call the UCC at 504-865-3835 and request an appointment. The UCC is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. and is located on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, Room 208, directly above the OR.

3. Anxiety Management Workshops: Stressed? Can’t focus because you are too busy worrying? Panic attacks? Want to feel better fast? Our weekly Anxiety Management Workshops offer concrete skills and strategies to reduce and eliminate undue anxiety. Workshops are offered on Thursdays, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Student Success Center (Marquette 112). No preregistration is necessary, walk-ins welcome!

3. Crisis Intervention: Same day appointments are available to students who need immediate help. Please call the UCC at 504-865-3835 to request a crisis intervention appointment.

4. Consultation: Concerned about a friend or roommate? Consult with one of our counselors by calling 504-865-3835.

Questions? Visit our website for more information, or contact one of our counselors directly.

 

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Grief is the emotional pain you feel in response to loss. It manifests differently for everyone—you may feel angry, sad, hopeless, numb, irritable, anxious, unmotivated or any combination of these feelings. Although we typically associate grief with the loss of a loved one, many things can trigger grief, including the end of a relationship or friendship, graduating from school, or experiencing trauma.

The goal of grief is not to “just get over it.” Instead, healthy grieving is about allowing yourself room to accept your loss, experiencing the full range of feelings associated with this loss, adjusting to the changes in your life as a result of this loss, and finding a way to make peace with it. Healthy grieving requires balancing the time you spend working through your grief with the time you spend engaged in your day-to-day functioning—and accepting that this balance is necessary, without feeling guilty (if you feel like you’re not spending enough time grieving) or overwhelmed (if it feels like you can’t stop grieving). There isn’t one single right way to grieve, nor is there a set timeline for grief.

Some things that can help:

  • Be kind to yourself—it’s likely you will feel distracted, or tired, and this may result in reduced efficiency. That’s okay.
  • Ask yourself what kind of help and support you want from friends and family, and articulate this to them. Just want to sit in silence with a friend and watch Netflix? Okay.
  • Figure out what helps you to sleep and eat regularly.
  • Set aside a specific private time daily to remember and experience whatever feelings arise with the memories.
  • Don’t feel like you have to force anything.
  • Talk to someone.

Some things that can make it harder:

  • Drugs or alcohol problems often develop in response to an initial stressor. Resist the urge to use substances to avoid coping.
  • Don’t judge yourself or others. Everyone grieves in their own way. It’s okay if you express you grief differently than those around you.
  • It’s normal and natural to feel guilty, but it’s also unfair to yourself, and a distraction from honoring your loss. Allow yourself feelings of sadness without taking on feelings of blame.

If you are struggling with grief, there are many resources on campus to help. Contact the University Counseling Center for individual counseling, or to get referrals for outside resources. A counselor is on-call to speak with students 24/7, 365 days a year. 504-865-3835. Additional resources can be found here.

 

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April 11th through 15th is Sexual Non-Violence Week at Loyola. This is a time for the Loyola community to come together to raise awareness, support survivors, and commit to making our campus safer for everyone.

Events include:

4/12 –  Krav Maga will hold a free self-defense seminar from 12:30 to 1:30 in the St. Charles room.

4/13 –Child Abuse Prevention Activities at 2pm in Audubon Park

4/13 – A screening of The Hunting Ground, a documentary about the incidence of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States,  at 7pm in 610 Monroe. This screening will be followed by a discussion of Loyola’s response to sexual assault.

Throughout the week, a These Hands Don’t Hurt Campaign will be held in the One Loyola room. Students are welcome to stop by and sign a pledge to do no harm to others and support survivors of violence. We will also be taking non-perishable donations for the Family Justice Center and the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program.

 

April 11th through 15th is Sexual Non-Violence Week at Loyola. This is a time for the Loyola community to come together to raise awareness, support survivors, and commit to making our campus safer for everyone.

Events include:

4/12 –  Krav Maga will hold a free self-defense seminar from 12:30 to 1:30 in the St. Charles room.

4/13 –Child Abuse Prevention Activities at 2pm in Audubon Park

4/13 – A screening of The Hunting Ground, a documentary about the incidence of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States,  at 7pm in 610 Monroe. This screening will be followed by a discussion of Loyola’s response to sexual assault.

Throughout the week, a These Hands Don’t Hurt Campaign will be held in the One Loyola room. Students are welcome to stop by and sign a pledge to do no harm to others and support survivors of violence. We will also be taking non-perishable donations for the Family Justice Center and the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program.

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Loyola’s Sexual Assault Response Advocacy Initiative is a collaborative effort to train students, faculty, and staff to respond to individuals in the wake of sexual assault.

The spring 2016 Advocates training will take place on Saturday, April 9th  from 8:30am to 5:00pm in the Octavia Room. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

During the training, the following strategic areas will be addressed: a) knowledge of the interpersonal dynamics of sexual assault and common reactions of victims; b) information regardingLouisiana’s legal definitions; c) how to communicate with victims and how to communicate in a crisis; and d) outline of medical options, Loyola’s resources, and resources through LUPD and NOPD. Additionally, skill building activities will be an experiential part of the training.

To secure a space at the training or for more information, contact Erin Shapiro at eeshapir@loyno.edu. Reservations will be confirmed in the order they are received. The last date to reserve a space for training is April 5th.

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End of Semester Semester Self Care

As told by the Cast of Parks and Rec

As the end of the semester approaches, it is hard to stay focused on school and not to become overwhelmed. But sometimes while trying to keep up with class, work, clubs, activities, sports and relationships, you forget that you need to take time for yourself. Self-care is very important to not only managing the hectic pace of college, but is also a life skill for the future. Here are some tips to help you improve in self-care this semester.

Coloring

Mental Health professionals have been using coloring as a technique to combat anxiety for years, but in the last few months Adult Coloring has really taken off! By coloring, you help your brain be present in the moment, as it focuses on the task at hand and not on the future. Supplies for coloring can be found in the book store.

Clean it Up

Sometimes clutter can feel overwhelming, especially in the room where you sleep. Take some time out of your day to tidy up. By simply making your bed, you can feel more in control of your day.  Find a specific place to keep important documents and papers and make sure you school bag is clear of clutter.

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Exercise

Exercise is a great way to break up your routine, especially if you change up your normal gym regiment. New Orleans offers a multitude of different options for reduced or free  classes ranging from yoga to kick-boxing. Click Here for a more detailed list. Also check out the Rec Center for FREE classes and intramural teams.

Get Some Grub

Let’s be honest, is there a better city to go out and eat than New Orleans? The city has great options for free food all over, ranging from vegetarian to BBQ. Treat yourself after a big test or hard week (or no particular reason at all) and go out and try a new, delicious food!

Hit the Snooze Button

Sleep is so important! If you feel that you are not getting enough sleep at night, schedule time during the day to take a nap. Even a few minutes of rest can help with energy and focus.

It’s Ok to Say No

Being overwhelmed by promises and obligations you made to others is difficult. You don’t want to disappoint others, but you can end up burning yourself out by being too available. Remember to take time for yourself, and remind yourself it’s ok to say no to someone.

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Have you been feeling depressed or more sad than usual lately? Not feeling like yourself? Are your friends and family members concerned about you? The UCC is here to help. Please join us for a free and confidential depression screening. The screening will take place on Monday, March 14th from 12-2pm in the Octavia Room of the Danna Center. Each screening takes around 10 – 15 minutes and is done in private. If you are unable to make it, you can always call the UCC at 504.865.3835 to set up an appointment with one of the counselors.

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A concussion is a brain injury that affects how your brain works. It can result from any bump, blow, or jolt to the head. However, it doesn’t always involve a hit on the head. A jolt or blow to the lower body that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth can also cause a concussion. This happens when your brain gets bounced around in your skull, creating chemical changes that sometimes stretch and damage brain cells. Even a mild bump or blow to the head or body can be serious. Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Actually, only 10% of sports-related concussions involve a loss of consciousness.

Concussion symptoms will differ with each person and injury. Symptoms are usually immediate, but may not be noticeable for hours or even days following the injury. Some people with a concussion say that something just “isn’t right.” It may be hard to pinpoint, but they just don’t feel “right.”

Concussion symptoms reported by the injured person:

 Headache or “pressure” in head

 Nausea and/or vomiting

 Balance problems or dizziness

 Sensitivity to light or noise

 Blurred or double vision

 Drowsiness or trouble sleeping

 Confusion; difficulty focusing, concentrating, or remembering

 Over-emotional (irritable, sad, nervous)

 Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, slowed down

 Numbness or tingling

Concussion symptoms that may be noticed by coach, friend, teammate, and/or professor:

 Appears dazed or stunned

 Confused about events, game, position, score, opponent

 Moves clumsily

 Answers questions slowly or repeats questions

 Unable to recall events prior to or after the injury

 Loses consciousness (even briefly)

 Behavior, mood, or personality changes

 Forgets class schedule or assignments

All concussions are serious. Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help aid recovery and prevent further injury or even death. Athletes who have had a prior concussion have an increased risk for another. Teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults because the brain is still developing into the early 20’s.

What to do if you suspect a concussion

If you think you have a concussion, you should not return to play on the day of the injury. If you experience one or more of the signs and symptoms of a concussion, you should see a health care professional for an evaluation. You can return to play once cleared by a health care professional.

Concussion Recovery

Rest is key. Exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, computer work, and playing video games, may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or worsen. Returning to sports and school is a gradual process that should be carefully managed by a health care provider. Recovery can be quick for some athletes, while others will have symptoms lasting weeks, or even months. If an athlete has a concussion, the brain needs time to heal. While the brain is healing, the athlete is much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes to recover and can result in brain swelling or permanent damage to the brain. Repeated concussions can also be fatal.

When in Doubt, Sit it Out

Don’t hide it. Report it. Get checked out. Trying to “tough it out” and keep playing often makes symptoms worse. Don’t ever let anyone pressure you or your teammate into continuing to play if a concussion is suspected. Some athletes may try to hide the symptoms because they want to play. Speak up for you and your teammates!

For more information, please call Student Health Services at 504.865.3326 or stop by our clinic located in the lower level of the Danna Student Center, just below the Orleans Room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mardi Gras is over, and whether your holiday break was filled with excitement or with rest and relaxation, returning to school can be difficult, especially with mid-terms approaching. Getting back into a routine can evoke anxiety and stress. This may seem inevitable, but there are ways to manage your anxiety and make the transition go a little more smoothly so that you can more appropriately and effectively prepare for those mid-term exams.

1. Prioritize sleep. Getting enough sleep is crucial for your health and mental health, overall.

2. Learn to say “no”. If you feel like you often take on more than you can handle, think about taking certain things off of your plate. Make sure that your needs take precedence.

3. Exercise regularly and eat healthy foods. This includes drinking enough water. Making this a part of your routine can relieve anxiety and make you feel refreshed.

4. Do something for YOU. Do you love to draw? Read? Do yoga? Make time for the thing that you love, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed.

5. Talk to someone. Call a friend, a family member, a counselor – or come to the UCC Anxiety Management Groups! Talking about your worries and anxieties out loud can often make them seem more manageable.

If you would like more information on managing your anxiety, join the University Counseling Center for FREE anxiety workshops. All groups meet from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm in Marquette 112.

The March schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, 03/09/16 Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Asia Wong, LMSW
Wednesday, 03/16/16 Rewiring Your Anxious Brain Alicia Bourque, PhD
Wednesday, 03/30/16 Progressive Muscle Relaxation Erin Shapiro, LPC
Wednesday, 04/06/16 Self-Care and Stress Management Gil Lerma, LPC
Thursday, 04/21/16 Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Asia Wong, LMSW
Thursday, 04/28/16 Rewiring Your Anxious Brain Alicia Bourque, PhD
Thursday, 05/05/16 Progressive Muscle Relaxation Erin Shapiro, LPC
Thursday, 05/12/16 Self-Care and Stress Management Gil Lerma, LPC

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February 22-26 is Love Your Body Week at Loyola, a time to promote positive body image and healthy habits.  Love Your Body Week coincides with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and is a great time to discuss the long term effects of negative body image. The media is saturated with images of individuals that embody “the beauty-ideal” and many internalize these messages negatively, believing that they are not good enough. Negative body image may lead to behaviors such as dieting and approximately 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of these, approximately 20-25% progress to partial or full eating disorders.

Love Your Body Week activities include a poster and social media campaign, tabling in the One Loyola room, a mindful dining campaign, a brown bag lunch talk on women’s health and sexuality at the WRC living room on 2/25, Fitness Friday on February 26th, and three productions of the Vagina Monologues put on by Feminist Fridays on February 24th, 25th, and 26th at 7:30pm.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder and you want help, please contact the University Counseling Center (UCC) to make an appointment.

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Did you know that February 14-20 is Random Acts of Kindness Week? At Loyola, it’s also our week for Compassionate Campus. During this week, we make a renewed commitment to being men and women for and with each other. It’s a time to notice all the compassion already around you, and to reflect on ways to increase your own capacity for compassion.

What comes to mind when you think of compassion, and is it meaningful to you? Sometimes it can feel daunting to try and embody lofty ideals. Other times, it can feel as if these ideals are saccharine greeting card notions, devoid of substance. How do you keep the idea of compassion relevant and present for yourself?

At its root, compassion means to “feel with.” In every day practice, compassion means to acknowledge the suffering, real or potential, of the people you interact with, and to do your best to lessen it. Do people leave their interactions with you happier or sadder; angrier or consoled? How do you like to be treated, and is it difficult or easy for you to treat others this way?

Often we are our own harshest critics. Do you treat yourself with compassion? Do you talk to yourself like you talk to your best friend, or your worst enemy? Many people believe that they won’t accomplish anything without self-criticism, but try using self-encouragement instead. Feel too drained to take care of anyone else? Start with yourself. Compassion is not about perfection or self-sacrifice, but rather the belief that collectively we have enough resources to take care of each other and ourselves, or at least the desire and ability to work towards this abundance.

Compassionate Campus is not only about reflecting on your own capacity for compassion, but also a chance to notice the compassionate acts taking place around you all the time. Imagine yourself as a kindness curator, and your world suddenly becomes a lot easier to inhabit.

Sound impossible? Not sure where to start? Stop by the One Loyola Room this week, and get some help. Commit to living a more compassionate life for one week, and see if it makes a difference.

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