Education at OHSU

Response to challenging national events

Student Health stands with those in support of Black Lives Matter.

Statement from Student Health: The Student Health and Wellness Center shares President Jacobs’ sentiments in his previous statement about structural racism and violence against people of color. Across the nation, we are witnessing the immense pain and horror felt in reaction to the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We recognize that the list of names of those affected by racial violence and police brutality is intolerably long and continues to grow. We know that Black members of our community are profoundly and disproportionately affected by these traumatic deaths and that many are experiencing intense grief, anger, sadness, and despair.

At SHW, we acknowledge the reality of racism and see the devastating health outcomes inflicted by systemic injustice and police brutality. Media coverage and political disputes contribute to the overwhelming nature of these tragedies. In response to the stress and pain of present circumstances, and in preparation for the inevitable work ahead, we encourage you to take time to care for yourselves and others. For some this may mean taking social, community, or political action, or donating time or resources to an organization that can help. For others it may involve connecting with loved ones or reaching out to community resources to process the feelings that emerge.

Whatever you choose to do, please know that we are here to move through this with you in support of your health and wellbeing. We affirm and uphold your right to safety and inclusion. We stand with you.

To reach SHW for scheduling or crisis assistance, please call 503-494-8665 between 8am and 5pm.

For after-hours crisis support, Student Health has partnered with ProtoCall Services to offer confidential brief counseling interventions and crisis care after-hours. Call Student Health at 503-494-8665 and follow the prompts to get connected.

For 24/7 support, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or text HOME to 741741.

View the Mental Health and Community Resource list 

For additional resources, please visit SHW's Diversity and Inclusion webpage.

News about the spread of viral illness can create a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, whether you are directly or indirectly affected. It is very normal to experience:

  • Fear and anxiety about the future and your health
  • Feeling powerless, sad, or depressed
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Apathy and emotional numbing
  • Sleep difficulties, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts
  • Irritability and anger
  • Preoccupation with avoiding exposure to germs or illness
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
  1. Remind yourself that the stress reactions listed above are common. Experiencing these does NOT make you weak or crazy, and many of these reactions can fade with time and as more information about the virus becomes available.
  2. Keep connected. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own anxiety.
  3. Limit media exposure. Repeatedly watching or reading news about the virus will increase anxiety and stress. Stick to known and reliable sources of information and limit your checking to once or twice a day.
  4. Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the number of confirmed infections in the U.S. is extremely low. The fact that there is a great deal of news coverage on this issue does not necessarily mean that it presents any threat to you or your family.
  5. Get the facts. It is helpful to adopt a more clinical and curious approach as you follow news reports about the virus. To that end, you will want to find a credible source you can trust.
  6. Take care of yourself and stick to your routines. Make sure you are getting enough rest, eating well, and exercising. If you smoke or drink coffee, try to limit your intake, since nicotine and caffeine can increase anxiety and stress.
  7. Avoid using alcohol or drugs. Drugs and alcohol may temporarily alleviate stress in the short term, but in the long run, they can create additional problems that increase stress and anxiety.
  8. Address one task at a time. During times of tremendous stress, your normal workload may feel unbearable. Pick one urgent task and work on it, or break large tasks down into smaller pieces. Check projects off one at a time, to help things feel less overwhelming.
  9. Seek additional help. Individuals who feel an overwhelming nervousness, a lingering sadness, or other prolonged reactions that adversely affect their job performance or interpersonal relationships should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and other appropriate mental health providers can help people deal with extreme stress. These professionals work with individuals to help them find constructive ways to manage adversity.

For students:

Student Health and Wellness Center

  • Individual counseling and care; referrals to community providers
  • Primary care, acupuncture, massage, mindfulness coaching, and wellness programs are also available
  • Call 503-494-8665

For postdoctoral scholars:

Spark EAP Resources

  • 24/7 crisis and brief telephone counseling with 3 free counseling sessions
  • 1-800-433-2320

Student Health and Wellness

  • Individual counseling and care; referrals to community providers
  • Primary care, acupuncture, massage, mindfulness coaching, and wellness programs are also available
  • Call 503-494-8665

Mental Health and Community Resource list

View this information as a handout

Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting.

Helping children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting.

How to talk to children about difficult news and tragedies.

As we strive to understand and address the epidemic of violence in this country, it is critical to correct misconceptions about the relationship between mass shootings and mental health conditions.

For help with emotional distress and/or suicidal thoughts, the following crisis supports are available: