Adapted from UC Berkeley Hillel
We know the brutal terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, subsequent war between Israel and Hamas, and impact on college campuses can be overwhelming for many Jewish students. Wondering how you can support your student through this incredibly difficult time? Hagar Ben-Eliezer, Berkeley Hillel Wellness Therapist, suggests the following strategies:
If your child calls you and can barely speak (sometimes through tears), witness and confirm their pain. Trying to solve or fix anything when someone is experiencing heightened emotions tends to add more stress.
- I am so sorry you are hurting – This must feel so overwhelming.
- I love you and I will sit and listen as long as you need.
- I am glad you made the choice to reach out to me instead of keeping this to yourself.
- Would you like to pick a time to check in again?
As parents, there may be an expectation that you will know the right way to do things or how to feel. This may be a time when you cannot explain the actions of the world or even how you feel.
- I know you want the violence to stop — I do too. Unfortunately, we will both feel discomfort in not knowing the outcome. I am so glad that we have each other for support.
- I am struggling with the news reports too — let’s make a pact to limit or cut out social media for a few days.
- I am also sad about the losses families are experiencing – I have no idea what I would do or feel if this happened to our family. I am so grateful we have each other and you are here so we can process this together.
Get Help When Needed
You are the expert on your children — you know when they are not ok. If your child is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, please seek out help for your child using the mental health and wellness resources below.
- Not able to sleep, fearful of sleep, recurring nightmares.
- Not able to eat or drink.
- Neglecting hygiene.
- Unable to focus or concentrate, missing classes.
- Unable to control weepiness or sobbing for long periods of time.
- Exhibiting signs of past depressive episodes.
- Perseveration – Unable to think about or talk about anything else.
- Isolating or refusing to connect with others.
- Self-harming behaviors or talk about harming themselves or others.
If you are seeing any of these behaviors, encourage your child to get support by reaching out to these services:
Crisis Text Line
If you or your child are feeling increased anxiety, grief, or shock due to the recent devastation and loss of life, support is available. You are not alone. Text SHARE to 741-741 to connect with a live volunteer Crisis Counselor.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Free 24/7 support and resources for those in crisis and those who support them.
DIAL or TEXT 988
Local and State Resources
Find out if there is a local Jewish Human Services agency near you or use the SAMHSA agency locator to discover mental health organizations across the United States.