UA counselors work to aid shocked students
Wednesday September 12, 2001
CAPS program to be available throughout the week
UA counselors will be providing support groups all week for students and faculty to share their concerns about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"At times like this, (Counseling and Psychological Services) suspends its normal routine and meets with whomever walks in the door," said Ken Marsh, CAPS director.
For the rest of the week, counselors will be available from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the CAPS office on the second floor of the Campus Health Center.
"It is important for students to not be startled if they go from overwhelming sadness to anger to nothing," Marsh said. "Students will have a wide range of emotions."
Counselor Debra Cox-Howard said students should not hesitate to seek help.
"People should not be alone right now," Cox-Howard said. "We are making ourselves available to the 50,000 (students and faculty) at this university."
Cox-Howard worked with survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and said that students will likely feel shocked for at least 24 hours.
"If people have friends and family involved, then the shock may last longer, even days," she said. "The anger will set in when students start getting more information (on the bombings)."
They may feel extreme amounts of terror as well, she added.
"One of my patients this morning was terrified to even leave CAPS (counseling office)," Cox-Howard said.
It is important for students to understand that the emotions they are feeling are normal, Cox-Howard said. "We have to encourage everyone to talk about their feelings and to verbalize whatever they feel."
Veda Hunn, associate dean of students, said the university has an obligation to its students to help them through this time.
"I am here to help facilitate the student's ability to address any concerns and issues they have in response to the national tragedy," Hunn said. "It is our responsibility (as a university) to provide comfort."
Marsh said counselors will be available through CAPS at all times to talk to students about their emotions regarding the attack.