Many of us in the Lafayette College community have been deeply affected by the recent deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the police officers in Dallas ( Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens), and the 49 men and women at the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando ( People will react to these losses in different ways based on our own experiences and personalities.

Grief, anger, shock, frustration, as well as a desire to act and make positive change are all common reactions to these types of traumatic events. We hope you will take the time to reflect on what these events mean to you, to become well-informed, and listen carefully and with empathy to those whose experiences and reactions may be different from yours.

We encourage you to reach out to people you can trust and who can support you. We also encourage you to know your limits, and allow yourself permission to limit the amount of time you spend using social media, watching video coverage of violent events, or even talking about these deaths when you are unable to do so without feeling overwhelmed.

Humans have a remarkable capacity to persevere even in the face of trauma, violence, and injustice. Here are some of the actions and approaches you can take to help increase your resilience during difficult times:

  • Seek and accept social support
  • Engage in active problem solving instead of trying to eliminate negative emotions
  • Face your fears vs. avoiding difficult situations or conversations
  • Look for meaning in the midst of adversity, including spiritual or religious meaning
  • Seek out and imitate role models who have faced difficulty in a way you admire
  • Identify and use your core values and beliefs to help you take action in ways you feel good about
  • Maintain good physical health and well-being
  • Think about life with realistic optimism

If you would like to speak confidentially with a counselor, please see our summer hours or email Dr. Karen Forbes at

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.