Mass Shootings/Traumatic Events

With the rise in mass shootings and other tragedies, students may experience traumatic events firsthand, know people who were directly affected, or come from communities that were greatly impacted. Due to this, it is important to know how to support students during these times and be aware of the signs and symptoms of trauma.

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Crying
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches and pains
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping and nightmares
  • Racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Being “on-edge” or “jumpy”

Mental/emotional symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety and fear
  • Difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Becoming withdrawn, especially avoiding people and places that remind them of the incident
  • Anger
  • Feeling tense
  • Thoughts of guilt, shame, or self-blame

Campus Referrals

If a student discloses a traumatic event they have experienced or if you suspect that a student has experienced a traumatic event, please offer your support by reviewing the resources listed below and referring them to the following on-campus resources.

805-756-2511 (24/7 Crisis Line)

Offers a variety of confidential support services including therapy, emotional wellbeing workshops and preventative education.


Serves as a resource to help students resolve university-related issues and concerns to help them obtain their degrees. The office ensures student success by facilitating referrals, support and advocacy through nonclinical interventions. It also provides follow-up services in collaboration with other university departments or individuals, community agencies, parents or guardians, and stakeholders in the students’ success. 

Additional Resources

Assisting Emotionally Distressed Students

Cal Poly Cares

Coping with Traumatic Events

Dean on Call

How to Talk About Tragedy

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Red Folder: Assisting Students in Distress

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