From Desolate Winter to Invincible Summer: Coping in the Aftermath of Tragedy
posted by Jennifer "JJ" Larson, President, HECMA
As members of the profession, Higher Education Case Management, we have a connection to tragedy, loss and mass shootings that is undeniable. Our field grew as a direct response to the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007. Not the first, not the last; but at that time, the worst. Since that event and in response to the Review Panel's recommendations, colleges and universities have continued to hire behavioral health and student affairs professionals to assist campuses in identifying and responding to students who struggle, students in distress, and with great hope to intervene early to prevent further tragedy.
Over the past year as President of HECMA, I have reached out to more of our colleagues than I had ever envisioned. Communities and Campuses impacted by the behavior of one or several; and with motivation ranging from significant illness or self-injury to violence and power to intolerance and hate. As HECMs we stand in support of the survivors and the communities who have been impacted by the actions of others. We extend our allegiance to the LGBTQ community; and endeavor to fight hate with love. We honor all communities, Latinx and Muslim included, who are devastated and hurting. And we appreciate the stories of heroism that emerge; send gratitude to the first responders who take in so much to protect, serve and heal; and our hearts ache for the families and friends that struggle to understand. The recovery process is a tangled web of emotions and responses; as individual as those who experience them. At HECMA we have reached out to our Florida colleagues to offer support and encouraging words as they embark, with their campuses and communities, on this unexpected and unwanted journey.
Here are but a few links to resources and information that might be helpful for you and your campus communities:
American Counseling Association: Coping in the Aftermath of a Shooting
American Psychological Association: Managing your Distress in the aftermath of a shooting
The Mayo Clinic: Helping children cope: Tips for talking about tragedy
Human Rights Campaign: Remember Their Names: Honoring the Lives of the Orlando Victims
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” ― Albert Camus
I am pleased to announce that HECMA
has accepted our second corporate sponsor! Intended to be a mutually beneficial partnership, the Membership and Conference Committee evaluates applications based on a set of criteria to ensure that the organization, among other things, has a shared mission, vision, and goals, and will maintain HECMA’s reputation for objectivity, independence, integrity, credibility, and responsibility. These partnerships represent our organization and YOU as members, so we have been intentional in developing the application process in order to create strong and positive relationships.
With that said, I am thrilled to formally announce that the Center for Discovery is our second corporate sponsors and first at the silver level! Please give them a warm welcome to the HECMA family. The Center for Discovery’s mission is to increase access to specialized behavioral health treatment while minimizing cost to clients and families. They employ a community based model of client-centered managed care treatment.
Of the many services they provide, most relevant to HECMA is that they provide residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient eating disorder treatment for adults. They also specialize in the treatment of co-occurring substance use, self-injury, and underlying trauma or mood disorders. In addition to serving adults, Center for Discovery provides adolescent residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatment for eating disorders, mental health, and substance abuse. All locations are Joint Commission accredited and state licensed. Importantly, they provide free weekly support groups open to the public for anyone struggling with an eating disorder and their loved ones and offer full and partial scholarships for residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment.
Center for Discovery’s goal, which I think resonates with all of us, is to bring “increased awareness and access to treatment for individuals in need of specialized eating disorder treatment”. Students with eating concerns are certainly a population that interface with both Student Affairs and Clinical Case Managers and we are all too aware of how challenging it is to find and access appropriate care for these students. Because of that, this partnership will be invaluable to our members.
Alexia Mowry, Director of Clinical Outreach/Marketing will be our primary contact person and Regina Garcia will be secondary. I’m grateful to Center for Discovery for their support of HECMA. They will be a wonderful partner in our individual goals to help our students find health, wellness, and success, and our organization’s goals to advance best practice in case management work. You may be seeing a blog post from Center for Discovery in the coming months. If you have questions, or would like to reach out to Alexia or Regina, they can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading such a long announcement! If you have any questions related to corporate sponsorship, membership or the roundtable, please contact the Membership and Conference Chair at email@example.com.
On behalf of the HECMA Leadership Team - We look forward to seeing many of you at the Roundtable later this month!
Membership & Conference Chair