remembrance Day Events | April 30, 2021
Restorative Yoga & Mindfulness Program
Offered by CAPS & UREC | Zoom
- 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
- 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
- 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Brief informal consultation support with CAPS staff | Zoom
- 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
- 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Niner Community Remembrance Art Mural Activity
Offered by CAPS | In-Person at UREC & Student Union Outdoor space
- 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Lunchtime Healing Arts Session
Offered by CAPS | Zoom
- 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Continued Support Related to April 30
No matter where you were on April 30, as a member of Niner Nation, you were most likely impacted in some way by the violent act that occurred in a space that we all assume to be safe -- a classroom, on our campus, in our community. The death of two and the injuring of four students on April 30, 2019 is something that is now part of UNC Charlotte’s history. Even if you weren’t yet a Niner, this violence may still impact you.
To navigate the continued impact of this violence and trauma, perhaps you sought the help of a professional counselor or from your own support system. Please know that it can take some people longer than others to begin to feel “normal” and safe again and that is okay. And, if you are struggling, we encourage you to use the information below to try to understand your reaction and consider resources for seeking help.
In the immediate aftermath of a significant traumatic experience, almost any reaction is “normal.”
- Shock, numbness, grief, guilt, fear, and panic are all common.
- Behavioral changes such as difficulty sleeping, memory problems, fatigue, and re-experiencing the event might also be expected.
- Interpersonal functioning may be impacted, and it may be awhile before you feel like yourself again.
- This incident may compound or reactivate feelings that linger from past traumas in your life.
- Trauma reactions are “allowed” no matter where you were on April 30. Many members of the UNC Charlotte community are feeling traumatized by this event.
- As noted, individuals react and experience the impact of trauma in different ways. Some people are impacted immediately, while others have a delayed reaction which can occur months or even years after the traumatic event.
Beyond recognizing that your reactions are normal, there are several strategies you might consider as you work through your own stress related to this campus tragedy:
- Give yourself grace and time. You may feel better for a while and then have a "relapse." This is normal. Allow plenty of time to adjust. As time passes, you may have days where the event doesn’t even enter your mind. You also may have days when it’s all you can think about.
- Be in contact with others—family, friends, or others who have also experienced this trauma—even though it may be difficult at first. It is human to want to withdraw when you are hurt, but keep in mind that emotional connection can be healing.
- Talk about the experience —when you’re ready! For most people, talking helps relieve some of the intense emotions felt under stress. But it’s up to you to decide when you’re ready.
- Even if you start to talk about it, recognize when you’ve had enough, and take time to relax on your own. You might also consider limiting your exposure to news about the event on social media or other sources - especially as the campus annually acknowledges the date of this campus trauma.
- If you are feeling the impact of trauma, try to keep your normal routine. Staying active will keep your mind on events other than the trauma. You may find a sense of comfort with familiar tasks, and it will help put some psychological "distance" between you and the event.
- Structure your time even more carefully than usual. It is normal to forget things when you are under stress. Keep lists and double-check any important work.
- Maintain control where you can. Make small decisions, even if you feel they are unimportant.
- Consider taking meaningful action to do something about the related causes of the trauma or something that allows you to feel more control. For example, you might form a support group, reach out to help others, or become active in efforts to reduce violence in our society.
While we hope you have plenty of resources available for your personal support, you should also recognize when getting help from a mental health professional who is trained in trauma-response might be beneficial. Although it is normal to experience significant changes in functioning or mood after experiencing a trauma, be alert to symptoms that continue to bother you. It would be beneficial to make an appointment to see a counselor if you experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Experiencing repeated disturbing images related to the shooting or feeling as though it were happening again.
- Being fearful that you will experience another such event to the extent that it affects your freedom or your behavior.
- Disconnecting with others, becoming withdrawn from your friends and family, or disengaging from activity that you normally would find pleasurable or meaningful.
- Feeling irritable, on edge, depressed, or numb.
- Thinking of harming yourself or others.
- Having trouble sleeping or experiencing nightmares related to the event.
- Relying on drugs or alcohol to escape your negative thoughts or feelings.
Even in the absence of these symptoms, many people find talking to a professional about a traumatic experience can be helpful as they return to regular functioning or to be proactive so that symptoms don’t emerge later. Having a periodic counseling session where you can explore thoughts and feelings can free up time to focus on others aspects of your life.
If you decide to seek counseling, here is information that we hope is helpful:
- Counseling is available for all enrolled students. You can call our office at 704-687-0311 or to request an appointment to talk about your concerns or to get referrals. Please see information at caps.uncc.edu for details about how to access services.
- Faculty and staff, please contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-877-603-8259 for counseling assistance. Additional information is available on the HR website or by contacting Cindy Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-687-0658.