January 7, 2021
To Our UMD Community,
On Wednesday, January 6, the world watched in horror as a violent mob of white nationalists stormed our nation’s Capitol building, disrupting what should have been a peaceful count of the electoral votes. We witnessed an act of domestic terrorism that many, including those of us at the Health Center, are still processing. Part of our processing involves recommitting ourselves to the work of antiracism, a mission that we committed to in June after the murder of George Floyd - we invite you to (re)read the solidarity statement here, if that will serve you: https://health.umd.edu/solidarity
We also recognize that a lot has shifted on the National stage since this Solidarity statement was written in June, and that the events of last night presented us with a stark contrast between how protestors advocating for the value of Black lives, versus white supremacists storming the Capitol Building, were treated by police. The discrepancies are stark, shocking, but unfortunately, not surprising to many. Our democracy is a living experiment, where progress and resistance to progress often coexist - yesterday, we saw both sides of this spectrum in vivid color.
These contradictions in our democratic system may feel overwhelming, but in order to heal, we must first recognize where the infection lives.
If you are feeling anger, frustration, despair, sadness, confusion, or fear: all of these emotions are normal and valid given what we witnessed last night. If you are worried for your safety or the safety of your loved ones, particularly those who live in Washington, DC and the surrounding areas, that is normal and valid too.
As we move forward from yesterday's insurrection, we want to encourage you to prioritize your wellbeing in the coming days, weeks, and months. Do what you need to heal from these acts of violence. We invite you to practice self-care in this time, recognizing that the self-care you need today may look different from the self-care you need before an exam or after a stressful day at work. We at the University Health Center stand with you in solidarity, and will continue to work towards a safer, healthier, more just, and more equitable country so we all may thrive.
If you find yourself in need of mental health support, please reach out to our Behavioral Health Services, the University Counseling Center, or any of the other mental health resources listed below. We are here for you.
Mental Health Resources:
No matter where you are or what you’re experiencing in this moment, your experiences and your feelings are valid. As our VP for Student Affairs, Dr. Patty Perillo wrote in her statement to the community today, we “continue to believe in the resiliency of our democracy and our community. We will get through this together and emerge stronger.”
You are not alone.
The University Health Center