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Community Health Announcements

UPDATED at 1:38PM on June 30, 2020 

As Los Angeles County is moving to reopen various business sectors, there has been a recent surge of cases within the Los Angeles County area. The Department of Public Health reports a recent rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases as well as an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 complications. County health officials are stating that reasons for the increase are that more people are venturing outside of their homes, visiting more businesses and retail stores as well as restaurants. The most substantial increase in cases is among those between 18 and 40 years old (40% increase in cases in this age group). 

The fast increase in cases and hospitalizations are cause for concern. All individuals living in the area are urged (more than ever) to please wear a face covering when out in public, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands frequently. 

We will continue to monitor the situation very closely. 

As a reminder, the Student Health and Wellness Center remains available to students for both medical and mental health support. Call us at 310-846-5738 to connect with our mental health and medical providers. 

For more information regarding COVID-19, you can utilize the following sources: 
• World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• Los Angeles County Health Department: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/

Please be well! 

The SHWC Team 

UPDATED at 8:43am on June 16, 2020

Happy LGBTQ Pride Month!

The Student Health & Wellness Center (SHWC) would like to commemorate Pride month with the Otis community. We take this moment to honor our LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff, while celebrating sexual and gender diversity and variance.

We also take this moment, as a health and wellness center, to recognize that health disparities exist among LGBTQ individuals. They are at a higher risk for substance use, sexually transmitted infections, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, bullying, isolation, rejection, anxiety, depression, and suicide in comparison to the general population. Due to stigma, lack of healthcare provider awareness and sensitivity to the unique needs of the LGBTQ community, these folx receive subpar care that increases their vulnerability.

The SHWC is committed to serving its entire student community – every race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, mental ability, religion, age, national origin, marital status, parental status, and socioeconomic group. Your counselors and medical providers take a humble and proactive stance towards always learning how to better serve Otis students and their needs. 

The SHWC is a safe space for all, and we look forward to working with you to create the healthiest and most authentic version of yourself.
Be safe and well!

-SHWC Staff

UPDATED at 10:05am on June 4, 2020

Dear Otis College Student Community,

Student Counseling Services (SCS) at Otis College of Art and Design condemns the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other deaths of African Americans  that have occurred in recent history. These tragic events and the lack of justice and accountability continue to shed light on a broken and inequitable system, and the rise of racism and white supremacy in this country. 

While these tragedies can be traumatizing for all of us, we recognize that they may be especially injurious to members of our Black and African-American community. As mental health providers, we acknowledge the very real harm racism causes to the emotional and physical health of black people. We see the higher rates of trauma, depression, anxiety and suicide caused by racism. As clinicians in a college counseling center, we also witness the additional burdens carried by black students and the many barriers they must overcome. 

To all of the people who belong to groups who have been oppressed, victims of bias, acts of hatred, or simply marginalized, we want you to know that we see you, and we acknowledge the deep pain, anguish and trauma you are carrying right now due to this senseless loss of life. In the midst of these challenging times, when the pressures stemming from our history of racial violence and ensuing trauma feel heavy and unyielding, please know that we are here to uplift you, and we are in community with you.

SCS is also committed to providing care for all of our students who have been directly or vicariously impacted by recent events. We encourage you to contact our office if you (or a student you know) would like support with coping and healing. Counseling services are provided virtually and free of charge to all Otis students. To schedule an appointment call (310) 846-5738. 

In solidarity and healing,

Student Counseling Services

Though supporting our students who feel directly impacted by racism is paramount, we also strongly advocate for the antiracist education and allyship of all students, faculty, and staff. We hope that the resources below resonate with the Otis community as ways in which we can both support those who are hurting and join together to facilitate a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Resources for Black Individuals and Communities
Black Lives Matter: Meditations
Black Lives Matter: Toolkits
Common Coping Strategies
Disarming Racial Microaggressions: Microintervention Strategies for Targets, White Allies, and Bystanders
Emotionally Restorative Self-Care for People of Color
Grief is a Direct Impact of Racism: Eight Ways to Support Yourself
NAMI: African American Mental Health
Racial Trauma is Real
Tips for Supporting Each Other

Allyship and Antiracism Resources
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Antiracism Learning Opportunities through Enrich Chicago
Disarming Racial Microaggressions: Microintervention Strategies for Targets, White Allies, and Bystanders
Expressive Writing Prompts to Use if You’ve Been Accused of White Fragility, Spiritual Bypassing, or White Privilege
Harvard Implicit Bias Test
How Well-Intentioned White Families Can Perpetuate Racism
Talking About Race: Being Antiracist
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack


Books to Read
On Antiracism

  • How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Dr. Robin DiAngelo

On the Experience of Racism

  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  • The Bridge Called My Back, Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
UPDATED at 4:10pm on May 27, 2020

It has been recently announced that Los Angeles County will be moving toward new standards for a swift and safe reopening in alignment with the State of California guidelines. Faith-based services, in-store shopping at low-risk retail stores, drive-in movies and other recreational pursuits will now be opened for use for LA County residents.

Some specifics of the activities now permitted under the changes enacted on March 26th are below:

“Faith-based organizations may resume services, with the number of congregants limited to less than 25% of the building’s capacity, or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.
All retail, including those located in indoor and outdoor retail shopping centers may now open for business at 50% capacity.
Flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters may resume operations.
Pools, hot tubs and saunas that are in a multi-unit residence or part of a homeowners association may now open.
The Health Officer Order also provides guidelines for public protests. In-person protests are permitted as long as attendance is limited to 25% of the area's maximum occupancy, or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.”

It is still recommended that if an individual plans on venturing out into the community to practice social distancing and to wear a non-medical mask. 

As a reminder, the Student Health and Wellness Center remains available to students for both medical and mental health support. Call us at 310-846-5738 to connect with our mental health and medical providers. 

For more information regarding COVID-19, you can utilize the following sources: 
• World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• Los Angeles County Health Department: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/

Please be well! 

The SHWC Team 

UPDATED at 4:29pm on May 19, 2020

There continues only to be one known case of confirmed COVID-19 within our Otis College community. 

Yesterday, May 18th, Gov. Newsom made it easier for counties in California who were showing greater progress to proceeding through Stage 2 quicker. If counties have met the readiness criteria and worked with the CADPH, more workplaces and businesses could open. As of today, May 19th, Los Angeles County has NOT met the readiness criteria specified by the State. For more information regarding Stage 2 of the Stay at Home order, please visit here

We continue to recommend that everyone in our community practice social distancing and to wear a non-medical mask when going out in public to perform essential functions only. Stay home as much as you can. If any student is starting to feel ill or would like to talk to someone, please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the SHWC; we are here for you. 

As a reminder, the Student Health and Wellness Center remains available to students for both medical and mental health support. Call us at 310-846-5738 to connect with our mental health and medical providers. 

For more information regarding COVID-19, you can utilize the following sources: 
• World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• Los Angeles County Health Department: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/

Please be well! 

The SHWC Team