Universities provide mental health support to students as Derek Chauvin trial continues

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(NEW YORK) — Several universities and colleges across the country have reached out to students to provide campus support and resources as deliberations continue in the Derek Chauvin trial.

Universities including Princeton University, Penn State, Syracuse, Boston University, Northwestern University, Grinnell College, Binghamton University and Columbia College Chicago have reached out to their student communities, listing mental health resources and virtual community spaces to help students and faculty process a trial that has sent shockwaves across the country.

Some universities, such as Princeton, are providing mental health hotlines and additional counseling services for students struggling as national conversation continues to focus on racial injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, who died when former police officer Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes during an arrest.

“As the trial of Derek Chauvin comes to a close, and as the nation continues to grapple with a spate of violence and killings over the last few weeks, Princeton is offering resources to the University community, including virtual spaces for processing and discussion,” the school said in a statement on their website. “Events such as these challenge us as a community, and also can take a toll on us as individuals. Please seek support if you need it, and offer the same to fellow community members.”

On their website, Northwestern posted a list of counseling resources for all students and staff, and said they are “committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment that is anti-racist and just” and which shows compassion toward all members of the community, country and world.

On Boston University’s website, the school’s president, Robert A. Brown, shared a lengthy and emotional statement regarding the trial, and concluded by saying, “Whatever the verdict in the Chauvin case, I am committed to ensuring that Boston University continues its ongoing efforts to enact, deepen, and advance our antiracist values.” He added that the university will provide resources for people who want to talk, or who need support.

Closing arguments were delivered during the Chauvin trial on Monday night, and the jury will remain sequestered until deliberations have concluded.

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