OCCDHE Statement of Solidarity

The Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education (OCCDHE) is comprised of mental health professionals working in college counseling centers throughout California. During this troubled time in our country, we wish to publicly acknowledge our care, concern and support for all members of the communities we serve.

OCCDHE opposes all forms of oppression. Further, OCCDHE opposes the rhetoric that perpetuates the oppression of marginalized populations, and we acknowledge the debilitating and harmful impact of such rhetoric upon all people.

As mental health professionals, we know that words and actions that promote violence and hatred undermine human growth and development. Moreover, on a daily basis we hear stories of how racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia negatively impact students’ mental health and their ability to learn. We condemn discrimination of historically marginalized groups and pledge to stand by individuals who are targets of all acts of aggression, including microaggression.

For all our students, the therapists at your university counseling centers are here for you. We are here to listen and support you. We treat everyone with respect regardless of differing viewpoints. If you are struggling with the tone of the national discussions, or if you are experiencing negative treatment, threats or more subtle forms of oppression because of your race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, country of origin or other aspect of your identity, we are here for you.

Our country is learning to make sense of the historical trauma that has shaped our collective identity. We all know that learning is messy and sometimes painful. That said, if learning occurs within a context of compassion, caring, and respectful debate, we are confident that growth and healing will happen.