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Related Links

Support Resources and Self-Care

The following centers and spaces are available as resources for student support and self-care in times of distress or emotional discomfort.

Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
Helen Hills Hills Chapel
Contact: Matilda Cantwell, director/chaplain

Spaces available: Chapel (1st floor), Bodman Lounge (garden level), Blue Room (garden level), Washburn House Prayer Room (Washburn, requires permission through Kim Alston)

Offering:

Class Deans
College Hall
Contacts: Danielle Ramdath, senior class dean; Tine Wildhagen, junior class dean; Andrea Rossi-Reder, sophomore and Ada class dean; Jane Stangl, first year class dean

Offering:

Jandon Center
Wright Hall Lower Level
Contact: Denys Candy, director

Offering:

Lewis Global Studies Center
Wright Hall
Contacts: Rebecca Hovey, director; Janie Vanpee, director, Caitlin Szymkowicz, associate dean of international students and scholars; Lisa Johnson, assistant dean of international study

Offering:

Office of Disability Services
College Hall
Contact: Laura Rauscher, director

Offering:


Office of Inclusion and Diversity
College Hall
Contacts: Katherine Rowe, interim vice president; Sarah Harebo, Title IX coordinator; L’Tanya Richmond, dean of multicultural affairs

Offering:

Office of Multicultural Affairs
Clark Hall
Contact: L’Tanya Richmond, dean

Spaces available: Student Lounge (Clark Hall 3rd floor), Mwangi Cultural Center (home of Unity organizations), Unity House (home of Unity organizations)

Offering:

Office for Student Engagement
Campus Center
Contact: Tamra Bates, director

Spaces available: Campus Center, cafe, student organization space, Student Government Association, gameroom, TV lounge,
Ada Lounge (Hopkins House lower level), Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender (Wesley House lower level)

Offering:

Schacht Center for Health and Wellness
Contact: Pam MCarthy, director

Spaces available: Wellness Lounge (2nd floor) open 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Offering:

Student Affairs
Clark Hall
Contacts: Julianne Ohotnicky, dean of students; Becky Shaw, associate dean of students; Marge Litchford, assistant dean of students

Offering:

Narratives Project
Clark Hall
Contact: Jess Bacal, director

Spaces available: Lounge (Clark hall 3rd floor)

Offering:

Resources for Undocumented Students

Safety Resources

If you witness or experience an act of intimidation, threat, coercion or other violence

Contact your local law enforcement

  • Smith College Campus Police
    On-campus emergency: dial 800 or use a campus emergency phone
    From your cell phone or off campus: dial 413-585-2490
  • Northampton PoliceĀ 
    911 or 413-587-1100
  • Amherst Police Department
    911 or (413) 259-3000
  • Amherst College PoliceĀ 
    (413) 542-2291
  • Holyoke Police Department
    911 or (413) 536-6431
  • Mount Holyoke College Police Department
    (413) 559-5424
  • Hampshire College
    (413) 538-2304

Walking Together

In the aftermath of the recent presidential election, students at Smith have expressed interest in a system where students can offer and request to walk with others. If you are interested in volunteering to walk with people or in finding people to walk with, please go to this link: http://tinyurl.com/j4kwaeo

If you are thinking about signing up to walk with others, please carefully read the following: 

  • When you meet the student you will be walking with, do not ask them why they asked you to walk with them. It is up to the person you are walking with to share this information with you if they want to. If a student wants to walk in silence, respect that and do not question them. Do not invalidate the feelings, including anger, that the student may express to you. Do not consider this an opportunity to excuse, explain or atone for the racism, ethnocentrism or anti-religious bias that students experience on this campus.
  • If a student reports behavior on your part that made them feel unsafe for any reason, you expressed hateful beliefs, were invasive, or invalidated their lived experiences while walking with them, the incident may be reported by the organizers through Smith’s bias reporting system. You will also be removed from the list.

Signs of Emotional Discomfort

Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Weight problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Reproductive issues
  • Pain of any kind
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Cognitive and memory problems

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Stress or Stress Overload

The following table lists some of the common warning signs and symptoms of chronic stress. The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be to stress overload.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying

Emotional Symptoms

  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Other mental or emotional health problem

Physical Symptoms

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds or flu

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

What Self-Care Looks Like

Self-care is being attentive to your physical and mental needs and desires. Stay attuned and connected with yourself and participate in the activities that you need to be well.

What You Can Do

  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Be sensitive and kind to your peers
  • Seek support
    • Please refer to the list of places that you can go for support, comfort and guidance
  • Discuss
    • Talk to people that you trust (friends, family, faculty, confidantes, spiritual leaders and advisors) but also be aware of how much conversation and “rehashing” that you can handle. Be kind to yourself and know when you need to step away from a conversation or refuse to engage.
  • Empower yourself through resistance
    • Channel hurt, anger, helplessness and hopelessness into social change activities.
    • Stay connected and draw support from your community

Methods of Self-Care

  • Self-monitor for signs of stress and trauma.
    • Recognize when you are under stress or feeling “unlike” your typical self.
    • Be open to feedback from others and take steps to regain your composure and space.
  • Unplug when necessary.
    • Unplug from media sources that cause you stress. You can stay informed without damaging your mental health.
    • Limit your exposure to triggers.
  • Refill your love cup by checking in with mentors, family and social groups.
  • Stay spiritually ground - engage in spiritual activities that feel right to you.
    • Prayer
    • Mindfulness
    • Connecting with higher powers
    • Breathe
  • Participate in activities that make you feel happy, relaxed and rested.
  • Exercise and spend time in nature