UMass Boston

Support Resources

We know that some members of the community are feeling greater stress than usual, and I want to encourage you to seek out support. Please know that we are ready to assist you in any way we can.

Dr. Karen Ferrer-Muñiz, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

UMass Boston Faith-Based Student Groups

Coping After Catastrophic Events

Strategies from the Counseling Center

People often feel emotionally overwhelmed after a catastrophic event, whether they were present for it or not. Responses will vary widely (across people and over time) and may include:

  • feeling numb
  • difficulty sleeping
  • intrusive thoughts, memories and images
  • heightened anxiety (e.g., fear of leaving your home, being easily startled, feeling on edge)
  • feeling helpless
  • difficulty focusing
  • feeling angry
  • feeling unaffected by the event
  • feeling out of sorts or disconnected

For most people, these reactions will subside within a few days to a few weeks.

A range of strategies and responses can aid with recovery. You can use your existing resources and methods of coping that have been helpful in the past. Communities of all kinds help us build resilience and strengthen us, so turning to our communities is helpful at times like this. Some activities that can help with recovery include:

  • letting yourself feel what you’re feeling and not holding it in
  • talking to people if you find that helpful
  • taking care of yourself (getting regular exercise, eating healthily, trying to get good sleep, cutting yourself some slack given the current situation)
  • staying connected with others
  • taking action in whatever way is meaningful to you (e.g., volunteering or donating blood, spiritual practice, or doing other non-event related things that matter to you or you enjoy)
  • returning to regular routines, including going places that may cue anxiety, fear, or panic
  • limiting your exposure to news reports and images of the distressing event
  • being kind to yourself, no matter what you’re feeling
  • understanding each person copes differently
  • talking to professors if you need extensions on assignments so that you can balance taking care of yourself, recovering, and meeting responsibilities

More resources can be found on the Counseling Center's Site