Search This Site

August 11th-12th Community Support

August 11th-12th Community Support

CAPS recognizes that last summer’s violence had a psychological impact on the UVA community that continues to cause a number of individuals significant distress. We are here for all members of the student body, welcoming students of all identities to access care if they are having difficulty managing or understanding thoughts and feelings in response to last summer’s violence and its aftereffects.

The anniversary of a traumatic event can trigger a range of feelings. Distressing memories may cause people to feel as if they are reliving the event. Some people also become alert to the possibility that the event might occur again. Regardless of whether an individual witnessed violence personally or heard about it through media or other sources, it is possible to feel triggered during an anniversary.

Common responses to trauma, including anniversary reactions, include:

  • Reactivation of feelings, physiological responses and thoughts related to the event;
  • Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli;
  • Negative alterations in thoughts and mood (e.g., sadness, hopelessness); and
  • Arousal and reactivity (e.g., difficulty sleeping, heightened startle response, anxiety).

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or simply feel like you would like a safe space to receive support, CAPS welcomes you to access any of the number of services we provide throughout the year.

Walk-In Support at Student Health:

CAPS provides walk-in crisis counseling for students Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm. Any eligible UVA student can walk-in or call CAPS and ask to speak with the Emergency Consult clinician.

Afterhours Support:

Any student who needs to speak with a CAPS counselor between 4:30pm-8:00am or on the weekend, should contact CAPS afterhours number at 434-243-5150. A counselor will call you back and provide assistance in managing any distress you may be experiencing in the moment.

Follow-up Support:

Trauma reactions may not surface until days, weeks, months, or sometimes years following a traumatic event. CAPS is here to help and can be accessed throughout the academic year and summer. We provide individual, group and crisis counseling, as well as case management and psychiatric medication services to all eligible UVA students.


We also want to extend our support to any student groups who may have been impacted by the events of August 11/12 and its aftermath. If you would like CAPS to facilitate a support session or outreach presentation with your group, please contact CAPS Assistant Director for Outreach, Dr. Nicole L. Fischer at

Other Charlottesville Community Resources:

The Charlottesville community also has a number of resources available for those seeking support. Visit:

Suggestions for Coping with Trauma and Anniversary Reactions:

  • Avoid making big decisions

  • Practice meditation and relaxation techniques multiple times per day, not just when you are feeling anxious

  • If relaxation exercises increase your anxiety, consider using grounding techniques (e.g., describing the environment around you, say a safety statement to yourself to remind yourself that you are safe, say the alphabet very slowly or backwards as a distraction, run water over your hands, stretch, walk slowly, picture people you care about, say a coping statement like, “I can get through this.”)

  • Educate yourself about common reactions to trauma so that you know that you are not alone

  • Seek out support and talk openly with people you feel safe with

  • Use art as a way to express what you are experiencing

  • Use distraction if you are feeling overwhelmed (e.g., walk, listen to music)

  • Avoid using food, alcohol, drugs or excessive exercise to numb yourself; instead reach out to safe and trusted people

  • Get moderate amounts of exercise daily

  • Seek out spiritual or religious resources

  • Distract yourself with positive activities

  • When you have intrusive memories, remind yourself that they are just memories and that the trauma is not happening right now

  • Remind yourself that symptoms usually lessen with time

  • Do not lie in bed thinking and worrying, get up and do something soothing

  • Try journal writing

  • Keep regular routines

  • Remind yourself that your reactions are normal

  • Call or email a friend and invite them to do something with you

  • Connect with people that have had similar experiences