Counseling Center aids Dreamers, Allies with support group

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Sam Houston State University responded to the announced gradual appeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on Sept. 15, and stated that the university has a plan to take action and support colleagues and students impacted by the DACA changes.

In those plans, the SHSU Counseling Center established a Dreamers and Allies Support Group in order to provide those effected with critical information and emotional support.

“I’m glad that we, as a Counseling Center, were able to provide a brief support group for those impacted by the recent DACA changes,” Counseling Center staff psychologist Dr. Danielle Sirles said.

The support group met on Sept. 20 and Sept. 22 in the Lowman Student Center for two one hour sessions. The group allowed people to share their reactions, learn coping strategies and gain strength and encouragement from each other.

“While the meetings were small,” Dr. Sirles said. “Attendees used the space to share their concerns and offer support to each other. Therapists conducting the groups also provided attendees with self-care tools to help attendees build resilience during this difficult time.”

With the DACA repeal, the Federal Government is no longer granting DACA approvals, meaning that current recipients will be able to retain their status and work authorization permits until they expire. Over 140 SHSU students and faculty members are among those DACA recipients. The Counseling Center choosing to aid those effected showed a lot about what the university stands for.

Although the support group met on two separate occasions, the Counseling Center is planning future sessions to continue support. Counseling services are available during normal business hours throughout the year (including breaks between semesters) except on university designated holidays.

“We, as a Counseling Center, hope to host similar drop-in group session in the future to continue to show our support for Dreamers and their allies,” Dr. Sirles said.

Stay up-to-date with The Houstonian for further announcements from the SHSU Counseling Center. For more information, call the Counseling Center at (936) 294-1720 or stop by to schedule an appointment to speak with a counselor. The Counseling Center is located next to Old Main Market.