Dear TCSPP Community,
The true extent of the devastation in Japan as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami continues to unfold. With whole towns wiped away and a rising death toll, the trauma for the Japanese people is compounded by an impending nuclear disaster that threatens the health and safety of not only those in close proximity to the damaged power plants, but perhaps the entire city of Tokyo and beyond.
As we try to wrap our minds around the magnitude of this disaster, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Japan and their loved ones across the globe and in our own academic community. Our values and responsibilities as an institution, as psychologists and counselors, and indeed as caring individuals compel us to act in support of our fellow humans. We share a world that reminds us again and again that nature is ultimately in charge.
I encourage you to check out the APA ‘s disaster relief activities, and to bring to your campus administration any ideas you have on how we might as an institution best provide support and service to the people of Japan. In the meantime, it is our experience from working on other relief efforts that the best initial course of action is to support efforts and organizations that are providing aid directly to the people in need.
The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), a leading charity watchdog, has released its top-rated list of charities involved in Japan relief efforts. Below is a partial list of organizations, along with their grade from AIP, which you can contact for information on how you can contribute to their specific relief operations.
Much has been written about the psychological and physical healing effects of giving to others. Events like these indubitably surface our own fears of mortality, loss of control, and more. We are uniquely positioned as a community to help each other work through these fears. And as we work to support each other and heal our friends in Japan, we heal ourselves as well.
Michele Nealon-Woods, Psy.D.
President, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology