Some people fare better than others when faced with life stressors, disasters and loss. Resilience has been identified as a fundamental explanation for this difference.
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In times of tragedy, students look to their advisors for answers. If we have established trusting relationships, our offices can be a refuge. Taking time to talk, listen, be quiet and, if appropriate, suggest counseling, can make all the difference.
The author shares his own experience with academically grieving students and a process to identify such students.
Occasionally, students enter their advising session with personal baggage to share with their advisor that detours the conversation away from the normal advising issues. Knowledge of psychological first aid (PFA) give advisors tools to support students who are striving to overcome a traumatically challenging situation before making a referral to another support resource on or off campus.