Statement regarding Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. We at the University of Nevada, Reno Counseling Services (CS) join the rest of the university community, in particular our Black student leaders and ASUN, in expressing our grief, compassion, anger, and heartbreak to all those who are affected and continue to be affected by race-based injustices.

As a department dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering and advancement of human well-being, we condemn all acts of violence, racism, prejudice, and hatred against Black and African American individuals and cultures and stand in solidarity against systemic oppression. Mental health professions, such as social work and psychology, have explicit ethical guidelines about promoting social justice. As such, Counseling Services' training, practices, policies, and procedures aim to minimize the disparities so clearly visible in our society at large.

Counseling Services recognizes the current and historical trauma the Black community has endured across generations and takes responsibility for being part of the solution in whatever way possible and useful. CS is committed to providing support for all of our students who may be experiencing this type of trauma, where there are a multitude of reactions that one can have ranging from shock, fear, anger, sadness and/or helplessness. These can be experienced either directly or vicariously. While these tragedies impact our community, we recognize that this can be especially painful to those who identify as African American or Black.

Following is a list of action steps we are taking immediately:

  • Facilitating increased understanding of how racism manifests in our cultures and having an open dialogue about the impact of racism on mental health through webinars, related trainings, and book readings. This entails continuing our intensive, ongoing all-staff trainings on diversity issues.
  • Continuing/increasing recruitment of staff at CS from marginalized identities with the minimum goal of matching the representation within the University of Nevada, Reno student community.
  • Staying curious, compassionate, open and willing to name and address our own biases and have meaningful private and public conversations around overcoming them. We are all in this together and encourage that we all engage in introspection regarding the ways in which we have contributed to racist thinking and to begin adopting more culturally responsive and inclusive mental health services.
  • Increase provision of targeted, contextually based outreach and programming related to historical and current socio-cultural events.
  • Welcoming any conversation, suggestion, and comment on how we can be better allies and ways in which we can contribute to making sure every Black, Indigenous and People of Color identified person who steps on our campus feels safe, valued, respected, and, most importantly, listened to.

Services we offer to students

  • Support groups and webinars
  • Additionally, we encourage you to contact our office if you (or someone you know) would like support with coping and healing. Counselors are available for phone and video counseling appointments. CS employs mental health professionals trained to provide support to individuals from a wide array of identities, including traditionally marginalized, historically oppressed, or disenfranchised groups.
  • Call Counseling Services at (775) 784-4648 to talk to a counselor
  • When Counseling Services is closed, call the after-hours counseling line (775) 297-8315
  • Visit Counseling Services for more information about services
  • Text STEVE to 741741 and a live, trained crisis counselor will respond from the Steve Fund

Statements by our professional organizations