Grief occurs in response to the loss of someone or something. The loss may involve a friend, loved one, teacher, student, or even a role (student transitioning to the workplace or an employee leaving a job). Grief, itself, is a normal and natural response to loss. Grief reactions may contribute to crying, trouble sleeping, a change in appetite, absent-mindedness, social withdrawal, dreams and nightmares, avoiding reminders, and trying to stay busy. You may find this brief handout on grief helpful if you or someone you know has suffered a recent loss.

When grief does not go away

It’s normal to have ups and downs, and to feel sad, numb, or angry following a loss. But as time passes, these emotions generally become less intense. If you aren’t feeling better over time, or your grief is getting worse, it may be a sign that your grief has developed into a more serious problem, such as complicated grief or major depression. Please Contact the Counseling Center or another professional counselor if you feel stuck, or if you or anyone you know begins to wish for death or otherwise feel like life isn’t worth living.

For more information on dealing with tragedy you may also click here.

Resources for Students, Faculty and Staff Regarding Recent Tragedy

As always in cases of sudden and unexpected losses, we may often be left with lots of questions, mixed feelings and strong emotion. Because we are a community of care, I know that many of you are already reaching out to each other and helping to provide care and support and are already being there for each other. This is a natural process and most of us seek out our friends and loved ones when we are faced with loss and death. Should you find that you would also like to talk to a counselor, please reach out to the Counseling Center.

Please feel free to view our handouts on how to take care of yourself and others as we work together to help each other through this event and recovering from our loss. We are not alike in the range of feelings we experience after a tragic or sudden loss. What you are feeling may not be the same as what a fellow student or staff member is feeling, and this is OK.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to resources on campus. We want to be sure that all our community members are supported and get the care that they need as they face their feelings and reactions this week.

Counseling Center phone number: 315-781-3388
The Counselor on call is available 24/7 for emergencies by calling Campus Safety: 315-781-3333
We also have walk-in hours, every day M-F from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. You don’t need an appointment for these mental health urgent care hours.

Please also know that we will be offering our HWS Helping Students in Distress workshops again this semester. Please feel free to email the Counseling Center at if you are interested in attending any of these dates:

Student Workshops: Thursday, October 27, 12:00 – 1:20 p.m., Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 – 1:20 p.m.

Faculty Workshop: Friday, October 28, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
*Locations will be provided via email once you are signed up.

We know that many of the members of our HWS community have been negatively affected by the current and historical racial violence in our country. We also know that this violence takes a disproportionate toll on people of color, causing direct and/or vicarious trauma.

A resource was developed by one of the Counseling Psychology faculty at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Candice Crowell.  Dr. Crowell has given her permission to college counseling centers to widely distribute this resource, The Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma. The link provided leads to a 17-minute guided meditation that uses mindfulness, affirmation, and metta (loving-kindness) to promote healing in Black people.

Please know also that we welcome you to schedule an appointment at the Counseling Center to talk with one of our counselors to get ideas for self-care, how to heal trauma and how to keep your support-system strong.  The Counseling Center offers walk-in hours (no appointment needed) from 3 to 4 pm every weekday for urgent care needs.

Dealing with Tragedy

  • Keep busy. Focus on your projects and classroom assignments. Research indicates keeping focused on day to day required tasks or routines helps mitigate the effects of stress.
  • Seek out persons who care for and support you. Share your reactions, thoughts and how the experience impacted you.
  • Know that the reactions to trauma described are normal responses to a very abnormal experience. They occur in varying degrees of severity and type for each person.
  • "Baby yourself" - eat well, get your sleep, and do nurturing things.
  • Express your feelings with your art. Drawings, poetry etc. are all healthy ways to manage the feelings related to trauma.
  • Consider writing a journal of your experience or feelings.
  • Seek to gain perspective on the experience through meditation, reading, spiritual refection, etc.
  • Consider sending cards or emails of support to those most impacted. Helping others often is the healthiest way to manage our own feelings of powerlessness.

You may experience some of the symptoms below - this is normal.

  • Shock: often the initial reaction to events like this. Shock is the person's emotional protection from being too overwhelmed by the event. You may be stunned, numb, or in disbelief.
  • Suffering: this is the period of grief during which the person gradually comes to terms with the reality of the event/loss. Feelings that life is overwhelming and disorganized are common.
  • Sadness: The most common feeling found following traumatic events like this. It may become quite intense and be experienced as emptiness or despair.
  • Anger: Can be one of the most confusing feelings for the grieving person. Anger is a response to feeling powerless, frustrated, or even abandoned.
  • Anxiety: Ranges from mild insecurity to panic attacks. Grievers may become anxious about their ability to take care of themselves, or fear a similar event will happen to them or a loved one.

It's good to talk about it

Consider seeking counseling if your reactions are prolonged or significantly impact your functioning. You may also find this brief handout on grief helpful if you or someone you know has suffered a recent loss.



Schedule online now

Click here to schedule a confidential first appointment

91 St. Clair Street
Geneva NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-3388

After Hours Emergencies:
(315) 781-3333 (Ask for the Counselor On-call)


Counseling Center Urgent Care Hours

Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - noon and 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

We have expanded our Urgent Care Hours at the Counseling Center in order to more easily accommodate students who need to be seen for same-day, crisis counseling concerns. Students do not need an appointment for these services. You may simply walk in and complete triage evaluation forms. Same-day crisis care will be provided consistent with the level of urgency of a student’s presenting concern.

Hours for Regular Counseling Services

Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

To schedule a confidential first appointment with one of our counselors, please click the “schedule” button to use our online scheduler. If you are unable to find a suitable time, call us at (315) 781-3388 for alternative times.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.