Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn: so much of our everyday life is viral! Checking and updating our accounts daily has become a normal routine, like brushing our teeth. However, we often forget the dangers that come with our social media followers. When hitting “post” we can forget the dangers of cyberstalking. Your stalker may be a stranger or someone who has an active role in your life. Along with electronic stalking and harassment, cyberstalking can also include identity theft, soliciting for sex, slander, or gathering your personal information to threaten, blackmail, or embarrass you. Cyberstalking is dangerous and can quickly escalate. Many of us have been affected or personally know someone who has. Check out the following tips to keeping yourself safe:
Block any and all suspicious users
Do not add or accept users that you do not know
Do not respond to private messages to anyone you don’t know
When posting, do not share specifics about your location.
Do not share your last name, phone number, or email on online dating sites until you have met in person.
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day! Let’s celebrate awareness! 1,100 of college students commit suicide every year, and 10% think seriously about suicide as an option. Many of us have either been personally affected by or know someone who has been affected by a suicide. It is important to remember you are NOT ALONE! If you or your friends express an interest in suicide, it is important to take it seriously! The best way to prevent suicide is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them. Here are some signs to look out for:
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
• Looking for a way to kill oneself
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
• Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others; Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings.
For immediate help, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or for other resources visit: https://afsp.org/find-support/
With Fall 2019 semester now in full swing, the academic load can be overwhelming. Let’s take a moment to determine how we can make this a successful semester! Consider the following as you go about your everyday:
1. Stay Organized: Keep a detailed calendar for both your academic and social calendars and make sure they do not collide. Setting reminders in your phone and/or using sticky notes is a great method to staying on track.
2. Time Management: This may be the most important skill you master in your NOVA career and beyond. Prioritizing your work load is essential to your success! Make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time for your class load each week in accordance to your work life. While you may be taking on a lot this semester, may sure you make time for self-care!
3. Don’t Cram or Over Study: As tempting as staying up until 3a.m. to study for that test may be, studies show that last minute cramming only leads to undo stress, sacrificed sleeping and ultimately poor test performance. Instead let’s practice time management discussed above.
4. Unplug & Disconnect: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great source for staying in touch with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, however, it can be a huge distraction. In your appointed study hours consider turning off all social media accounts and focusing on the here and now.
5. Find Your Comfort Zone: It is all about finding what works for you. Whether it may be the quiet library, the busy coffee shop, or the local park with distance sounds of nature. We all operate different and finding the place to focus your mind is essential to your studying success!
6. Take a Break: Sometimes the work load can seem overwhelming. Take a break! Sometimes walking away from a tough paper you are writing or a stressful test you are studying for can give you a fresh perspective when you walk back to it. Allow yourself to clear your mind and regain focus.
We hope you can find these tips helpful in your NOVA success. Additional resources can be found at: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
If you need additional support, feel free to email us at: NOVACares@nvcc.edu
Welcome to our new NOVA Nighthawks and Welcome Back to our returning students. Here is the first tip of the week for the semester: Tips to avoid undo stress!
Starting a new college semester can be an exciting time in your life, but it can also arrive with some stressful baggage. Learning to adapt to your new schedule and create healthy balances can be challenging. While acclimating to your new course load, it is important to remember to get enough sleep (ideally 8 hours per night), eat well (avoid junk food and energy drinks), exercise (just 20 minutes per day can reduce stress), and maintain your mental health (support from friends or family, and not overloading yourself). No one is immune to stress and there are resources out there to help! To learn more, go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
Some additional tips for those starting their college journey:
– Read as much as possible.
– Research possible college majors.
– Polish social, people and soft skills.
– Embrace time-management tools.
– Weigh getting a job.
– Know how to stay safe on campus.
– Contact professors before classes start.
– Make the most of orientation activities.
– Research ways to get involved.
– Know where to go for academic help.
Depression is a mental disorder that causes a constant feeling of sadness, tiredness, and loss of interest. Depression affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Depression can be treated, so it’s important to seek help if you believe you may be experiencing depression. To learn more, go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
Tip of the Week: Suicide Prevention Tips: Look out for your friends. If someone you know is constantly making jokes about killing or harming themselves, it actually may be a serious cry for help. Behaviors that may be suicidal indicators include increased alcohol, drug, or prescription medication use, showing a disinterest in school and/or a job, withdrawal from activities that used to interest the person, a history of mental illness, and/or a recent traumatic event. These traumatic events can include a recent breakup, divorce, failed class or classes, a suspension/expulsion notice, losing a job, a sexual assault, and/or death of a peer or family member.
PRS Crisis Link Hotline is a local hotline that helps with suicide Northern Virginia. You can call the hotline at 703-527-4077 to talk to an empathic person who wants to help you or someone you know. The professionals provide free & confidential services 24/7. The hotline can also help you find referrals to mental health and other community services.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7 across the United States. Call: 1-800-273-8255
To know more about suicide prevention, visit us online https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
Although Northern Virginia Community College does not provide campus-based mental health services for students, NOVACares has created a database of mental health professionals available throughout the Northern Virginia, DC, Maryland area who are licensed to provide psychotherapy and medication management. Our Mental Health Provider Database allows you to search for a provider by discipline, specialty, gender identification, insurances accepted, location and public transportation accessibility. The Mental Health Provider Home Page also includes information about how to choose a therapist and offers information and resources for addressing grief, substance abuse, veterans’ concerns and LGBTQ support. For more information about The Mental Health Provider Home Page, please click the following link http://nvcc.rints.com/. To find more about available NovaCares services, visit us at www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
Please help us welcome Ms. Negar Ehsani to the NOVACares Team. Ms. Ehsani has accepted the Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Coordinator position. Negar has a Master’s of Social Work from George Mason University. She has experience from her position as Sexual Assault Outreach Specialist at the Fairfax County Office for Women and Domestic Sexual Violence Services. Negar comes to us with extensive community resource information for accessing community resources and programs in the NOVA area. Negar is bilingual (English and Farsi).
Negar, we are so happy that you have chosen to join the NOVACares team!
The Office of Student Mental Health and Behavior (AKA: NOVACares) is growing again. We welcome our new intern, Ms. Shayla Harris to our team. Shayla will be spending the spring semester with us. Shayla is a Criminology Major at George Mason University.
NOVACares welcomes our new Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Coordinator, Sandy Nagabhushan. Sandy has been trained in psychological, medical, legal and judicial support to assist victims of sexual assault or intimate partner violence. As the SAS Coordinator, she will provide outreach and response to the NOVA community on issues of sexual assault, dating/partner violence, and stalking. Her interest in this field started as an undergraduate student interning at a domestic violence shelter where she learned how to assist and respond to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Her educational background includes psychology, sociology, and completing certification in addictions counseling. At the masters level, she is studying counseling and development with a concentration in community agency counseling. As a peer advocate at George Mason University, she responded to all reports of sexual assault and related issues of stalking and dating partner violence. Sandy has also provided crisis intervention to survivors and education on sexual assault, sexual harassment, and relation-ship violence to the community. She looks forward to serving the NOVA community to promote wellness through education and outreach.
Sandy can be reached at NOVA.SAS@nvcc.edu or 703-338-0834 24 hours a day.