Support for Our Community

January 30, 2017

University of Maryland Counseling Center

The University of Maryland Counseling Center staff is committed to helping campus community members who are struggling with difficult feelings related to President Trump’s executive order temporarily blocking entry into the United States for migrants and legal U.S. residents from seven mostly Muslim countries and also for refugees from around the world. Feelings of anger, confusion, despair, hopelessness, and fear are normal reactions to these extraordinary events. Day-to-day functioning may be temporarily impaired, and you may experience anxiety, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, or sleep difficulties. Please consider the following strategies for coping and maintaining a sense of well-being.

  • Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings. Give yourself permission to feel the way you do. You may be tempted to avoid feelings such as anger and hurt. In fact, sometimes it is helpful to “compartmentalize” your feelings to aid focusing on assignments and exams. However, unaddressed intense feelings eventually can affect your functioning and create more distress.
  • Take care of your basic needs. Rest. Eat well. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Identify healthy strategies for managing your thoughts and feelings. Minimize alcohol and drug use. Exercise. Play a sport. Journal. Dance. Volunteer. Meditate. Walk the Labyrinth. Pray, or engage in other spiritual practices. Be intentional.
  • Connect with supportive friends and allies. Have discussions with those in whom you trust.  Not everyone will share your perspective.
  • Allow yourself to disengage from social media and the 24-hour news cycle. This may be difficult if social media provides you with support and affirmation. Consider blocking social media feeds that increase difficult feelings and thoughts.
  • Resist the urge to be the spokesperson for your group. It is not your responsibility to speak for “all Muslims” or any other social or political group.
  • Be gentle and compassionate with yourself and others.
  • Talk with a mental health professional or clergy if your reactions become overwhelming.

Counseling Center Services

Counselors at the Counseling Center in Shoemaker Building are available to students who are seeking a safe and confidential space to express themselves, feel understood, and identify ways to stay emotionally grounded during confusing and frightening times. Please be aware that the Counseling Center adheres to confidentiality rules established by the State of Maryland and the American Psychological Association. Without your written permission, confirmation of appointments and the content of discussions with counselors--including visa and resident status--cannot be disclosed to anyone outside of the Counseling Center’s professional staff. Please refer to our full confidentiality statement on the Counseling Service page.

In addition to scheduled consultation appointments, drop-in consultation is available daily from 3 to 4 p.m. Also, discussion groups facilitated by Counseling Center counselors are available to departments and groups by calling the Counseling Center in Shoemaker Building at (301) 314-7651 or by completing an Outreach and Consultation Request.

The Counseling Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. After-hours crisis support is available by calling (301) 314-7651.

Additional University of Maryland Resources

Online Resources