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 CAPS Help Center: Resources for Dealing with Loss, Disasters, and Traumatic Events


The worldwide SARS CoV -2 pandemic has created personal uncertainty, significant financial strains and for far too many families the loss of loved ones. Tragically, within this background, we are witnessing the deep undercurrents of racism and hatred taking the dignity and lives of Black, Brown, and Queer individuals. The intolerable actions of some, as well as Zoom-bombing for the purpose of spewing racist, sexist, and homophobic speech, has pushed communities of color and their allies to the breaking points and they demand a call for action. At this time, more than ever, we must actively reach out and support each other.

Our cluster recognizes that students are in the final weeks of an unprecedented remote quarter, at an academically rigorous institution, adding another layer of stress. Collectively, these have palpable psychological consequences, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic disorder, and exacerbation of other underlying mental health and substance abuse issues. The impacts may be acutely felt by members of our Black and African-American community. The Student Health and Well-Being Cluster is committed to supporting students through this painful and challenging period. CAPS providers have prioritized and expanded their efforts to assure that all students in need of mental health services will have access to timely and compassionate care in the weeks ahead. The Health Promotion and Student Health teams also remain actively engaged in their efforts to help students.

CAPS is available to meet with students 1:1 or in collective to process experiences and find strength in community, remotely and in-person. CAPS providers are available on campus at CAPS central and at Student Health Services. We welcome all students and stand for equity, elimination of health disparities, and social justice. Please connect with us by calling 858-534-3755, after hours select option 2. Visit our website for additional online resources at https://caps.ucsd.edu.

Please take a moment to reflect, be kind to yourself and care for each other. I and the other members of our cluster are committed to each of you. Please reach out to let us know how we can help you during this unprecedented period.

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessibleā€¯  - Maya Angelou.

We know it does not even begin to heal the hurt and trauma caused by structural and systemic racism and discrimination. Collectively, let us continue to work together for a more just, equitable and humane society in our service, activism, pedagogy, and community and collaborative efforts.

Angela Scioscia, MD
Interim Executive Director
Student Health and Well-Being
Counseling and Psychological Services
Health Promotion Services
Student Health Services

Our Community

CAPS is here to support students and the campus community due to recent tragic events in our country. CAPS is open and available to provide assistance to students during this difficult time. To talk with a counselor 24/7, please call us at 858-534-3755.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

UCSD and CAPS are responding to address matters related to COVID-19. We are aware this impacts the entire UCSD Community: students, faculty, staff, and families. Please use the following links for updated information.

If you are experience emotional distress, please reach out to your Dean of Students, CAPS, or a licensed mental health professional. See below for CAPS and other campus services for assistance. In addition, here are some helpful tips from the American Psychological Association's Helpcenter on dealing with mass shootings, disasters, and other tragic events.

Suicide Awareness

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently published findings that suicide rates have risen significantly over the past 20 years. These reports were published during the same week of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both from suicides. If you or your friends at UCSD are experiencing suicidal thoughts, we want you to know that CAPS is here for you. If you have thoughts of suicide, please contact us at 858-534-3755. We are available for walk-in services and consulation. This HelpCenter page also provides numerous campus, community, and online resources.

CAPS, Student Affairs, and the UCSD community are here to support those affected by loss or the recent tragic incidents here in the U.S. and abroad. We understand this may be a time of concern and difficulty. Our efforts are to provide you with support, information, and resources to assist you during these challenging times. The American Psychological Association has provided information on Grief and Loss, Managing your Distress about the Earthquake from Afar, Managing Difficult Events and Recovering Emotionally from Disasters. Below is a list of CAPS and campus resources available to you, as well as resources to help with coping.

SHOOTINGS ACROSS THE COUNTRY: In response to the recent tragic events in El Paso, Dayton, etc, we want to share the following resources to assist students and families in dealing with this tragedy. These resources are culturally specific resources for communities and all who have been affected:

Help-Center Resources during Difficult Times

CAPS is available to help and is offering various support services to attend to the needs of the UCSD campus community during times of crisis. We are available to respond as requested on an individual basis or as a collective to assist in providing support, education, and consultation in response to campus, community, or world events. During times of crisis or tragedy, while often finding it difficult to make sense of why the events took place, one may experience a range of reactions and feelings. These feelings are ALL NORMAL REACTIONS TO NON-NORMAL EVENTS. Reactions may include:

  • Shock / Numbness / Denial / Vivid dreams or flashbacks / Sadness / Anger / Fear / Difficult concentrating or focusing / Sad / Hopeless / Anxious / Difficulty communicating or reaching out to others

Although reactions to tragic events can be difficult to deal with, CAPS is here to assist you with working through the challenges of coping and working-through the difficulty. At CAPS, we provide the following services to students and the campus community who may be experiencing difficulties in response to a crisis or tragic event:

  • Individual Counseling / Same-Day/Urgent Counseling / Group Counseling / Consultation / Crisis Debriefings to organizations or departments / Crisis Intervention / Mindfulness medication / Psychoeducational Workshops

For students or faculty/staff in immediate need of assistance, please call 858-534-3755 or visit our Central Office at Galbraith Hall 190 (below CLICS) from 8:00am-4:00pm (SUMMER HOURS) to speak with a on-call resource psychologist. For non-business hours, if immediate assistance is needed, please call 858-534-3755 (select Option 2) and ask to speak with the on-call psychological counselor