Isla Vista Remembrance: Letter from CAPS Director
Time has passed so slowly and yet we are quickly approaching one year since the tragic events of May 23, 2014. The events of that day left many of us in mourning for the six deceased UCSB students. We continue to mourn the loss for the families and friends. Our hearts are with the 13 who were physically injured. Many more were affected psychologically and emotionally. Some of us feel better already and some are in grief and emotional pain. Some of us were not here last year and some of us just want to move on. Some are still caught off-guard by random emotions, feeling okay one moment and sad or angry the next.
It’s important to remember that we all have different responses to and different ways of coping with life and death. We differ in how we experience emotions, express emotions, and, sometimes, avoid emotions. We ask that you not judge others’ coping style or way of dealing with grief if it differs from yours. We ask that you not judge your own if it differs from others’. If you feel someone needs help, please reach out to them and encourage them to talk to someone at CAPS. You can also consult with staff at CAPS, (805) 893-4411, or the Student Mental Health Coordination office, (805) 893-3030.
The CAPS staff and I have been working with Associated Students, the Pardall Center Healing planning group, graduate students, faculty and staff on events designed to honor and commemorate the IV tragedy. Memorial events can help to remind of us of our humanity and help us feel connected to our community. They remind us that we are strong together!
We hope to see you at as many events as you feel comfortable attending. It’s also okay if you choose not to attend any events and prefer to stay away from campus. CAPS staff will be available at many of the events so please feel free to talk with one of us. We will be at the Pardall Center on Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, from 1-6 pm, and will also be attending the vigil on May 23rd at 7:30pm. Our UC CAPS Colleagues from sister campuses will be returning to offer additional support the weeks before and after May 23 (May 19-29, 2015). Last year CAPS talked to over 1000 students, faculty and staff in the four weeks following May 23rd. We look forward to joining our UCSB campus community during this special time of remembrances.
Follow this link to see the Calendar of Remembrance Events: http://www.news.ucsb.edu/remembrance-events
We remain Gaucho Strong!
Jeanne Stanford, Ph.D.
Director, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)