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

CAPS and LGBTRC statement on the Orlando shootings.

We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred in Orlando. While these events happened on the other side of the country, as a community we are all impacted. We want to support all UCSD students who have been affected by these events. If you have any need to talk with a CAPS counselor, 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.

Statement from Dr. Shaun Travers, Director of UCSD LGBT Resource Center:

My dearest community,

We woke up this morning to an unimaginable horror.  As so many UC San Diego students completed their studies and left our campus, we learned of what happened in Orlando.  As of now, we are not aware of any UC San Diego community members who have been directly involved in what happened. 

There are two broader community events happening in response, one at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, and one at the North County San Diego LGBT Community Center.  See below this message for the details.  As always, the UC San Diego LGBT Community Center will be open and available for anyone to stop by tomorrow, Monday and throughout the week, from 8:00am-4:30pm.  Although not a crisis center, at times like these being in community and drawing strength and comfort from each other can help us all to process this.  All of our sister Centers: the Cross-Cultural Center, Black Resource Center, Raza Resource Centro and Women’s Center are open and available as well.

At UC San Diego, students and those who support them are encouraged to access the resources at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), (858) 534-3755, 24 hours a day.  Our faculty and staff struggling to make sense of this have the Faculty and Staff Assistance program available to them as well, with more information accessible at, (858) 534-5523.  

From the San Diego LGBT Community Center: “In light of this tragic event, the San Diego LGBT community and its allies will gather together at The Center, 3909 Centre St., on Monday, June 13 for the San Diego United: #OrlandoStrong rally.  The doors to The Center will open at 6:30pm, with a short program, followed by a candlelit vigil stopping at the Hillcrest Pride Flag and ending at Rich's nightclub. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us to stand together and unite in support of all those affected by this tragedy.  Please see the attached statement from the Center as well.”

For North County:  “Dear friends and family, today our LGBTQ Center of Oceanside is gathering in support and in solidarity of what has happened in Orlando. If you can come and support please do so. Here it is our statement:  We are devastated by this horrific act of violence. Our hearts break for all the victims and their families and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA community in Orlando. Violence will not intimidate us form living our authentic selfs, or prevent us from loving one another. We must come together as a nation to affirm the love that conquers hate. The NC LGBTQ Center will be open provide a safe space to gather from 5-8, with a vigil at 7pm Address: 510 N. Coast Hwy Ste ‪#‎C Oceanside, CA 92056.”

We are stronger together.  Stay connected and in community.  Care for each other deeply.

With deep sadness,

Shaun Travers, Ed.D.
Campus Diversity Officer & Director of the
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center
A Unit of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the
University of California, San Diego

Working Through Recent Tragic Events

Recent tragic events in Orlando, UCLA, San Bernadino, our country, and abroad can be overwhelming. This type of violence is hard to understand and grasp. It is widespread and you may feel afraid and traumatized just viewing the media coverage. The tragic events may challenge your sense of safety, equilibrium, and hope for the future. For some, it will trigger memories and feelings that are difficult to process. These occurrences do elicit many different emotions such as shock, sorrow, numbness, fear, and anger. You may have trouble sleeping, concentrating, and continuing with your coursework.

Here are some tips on managing your emotions and recover your sense of balance:
- Talk about it and ask for support from friends, faculty, and staff.
- Be sensitive to your colleague’s feelings and reactions along with your own emotions.
- Turn off the social media. Give you brain a chance to recuperate and decrease your stress.
- Take care of yourself, exercise, eat normally and try to sleep.
- Call Campus Police or 911 to report any unusual activity.
- If you feel unsafe, be around friends, have someone walk with you across campus and connect with others.

Usually these tips are helpful during the crisis. If you continue to 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.

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.

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-4:30pm 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