Election Stress and Mental Health

We at the PLU Counseling Center recognize that for members of our PLU community from all political parties and backgrounds, the 2020 election session has been stressful.  We Lutes are not alone: A summer 2020 survey by the APA found that most adults from both parties say the current amount of uncertainty in our nation causes them stress (76% Democrats, 67% Republicans), and similar proportions cite the current political climate as a significant source of stress in their life (77% Democrats, 62% Republicans).

If election stress has you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, excited, powerless, down, fearful, depressed, powerful, wondering how to talk to people about what matters to you without losing your relationships, (or any and all of those) You Are Not Alone.  There are things that you can do before, during, and after the election to care for your mental health and to reduce election stress.

What can you do?

What can you do before, during, and after the election to care for your mental health and reduce stress?

  1. Before the election and during these uncertain times, use these tips to engage in good self-care now.
  2. Use these tips for having difficult political conversations, including knowing when/whom to talk with, and how to work with your emotions when talking with those whose friendship you’d like to keep, but with whom you disagree.
  3. For many members of our community, there is significant fear for personal and emotional safety and for the well-being of one’s identity groups following the election.  These fears are often rooted in historical and recent racial traumas.  What can you do if you experience trauma responses triggered by injustices, or if the outcome of the election floods you with emotion?  Here are some tips that you may find useful before, during, and after the election:

Care When You Need It - Same-Day Appointments Available

If you notice that the stress or feelings of hopeless, anxiety, or fear is impacting you, it may be helpful to reach out and talk.

The PLU Counseling Center offers three methods for students to connect with counselors following Election Night:

  1. Lute Telehealth has 24/7 access to counselors via their TalkNow feature (video or phone).  Register now (for free) to have immediate access this method, when you need it the most.
  2. The PLU Crisis Line has 24/7 access to counselors at 253-535-7075.
  3. The Counseling Center is offering Same-Day Zoom Appointments on Wednesday, Nov. 4th from 9:00am-4:00pm.
    • Students should activate their MyChart account as soon as possible to help expedite the time needed to set up a same-day appointment and to help facilitate transmittal of necessary intake documentation.
    • Contact the Counseling Center at 253-535-7206 to scheduled a Same-Day Appointment.
      • If our office coordinator is working to set up another student, you will need to leave a message with your name and phone number.  Messages will be returned as soon as the current phone call is completed.
    • Appointments will be limited to 30-minute conversations.

Newsletters from the Division of Student Life

The Division of Student Life is sending a series of three voter-related emails on voter registration and teach-ins, dialogue and care resources, and Election Day reminders and post-election offerings.  Review each email below as they become available:

10/13/20 – LUTE VOTE AND TEACH-INS

10/22/20 – SUPPORT RESOURCES FOR ELECTION SEASON