Many of us are dealing with some degree of loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. The range of impact is wide, from losing a job to losing the ability to socialize.

Psychologist Kathrine Fast from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC) said grief and loss are likely affecting some students graduating this semester as they come to terms with not being able to celebrate their milestone as planned. Fast wants everyone to recognize the importance of processing loss through talking, writing or simply thinking about it.

“It helps a person to be able to figure out what resources they have and what strengths they have and how they can move on from that and be able to adapt,” she said.

According to Fast, reaching out for support is important now more than ever because social interaction is so limited during the pandemic.

“One of the things I’m concerned about is often times people feel like they don’t want to burden their friends and family or they might isolate themselves more than they normally would,” Fast said. She recommends turning to loved ones, a mentor or therapist to help cope.

CSDC has adjusted services for students during the pandemic and is set up for urgent individual walk-in appointments (with adjustments to accommodate social distancing) or telephone crisis consultations. CSDC requests that you call to set up an appointment or call before attending a walk-in appointment and staff will help arrange appropriate services. Other resources are also available for those who need a helping hand.

Faculty and staff can contact the UH Employee Assistance Program for counseling services at Worklife Hawaiʻi.

UH Mānoa Counseling and Student Development Center, (808) 956-7927

Crisis Line of Hawaiʻi, (808) 832-3100 (Oʻahu), 1-800-753-6879 (Neighbor Islands)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line, text ALOHA to 741741 (Hawaiʻi), text TALK to 741741 (National)

—By Moanikeʻala Nabarro

hand on window