Saddleback provides resources for those affected by Israel-Gaza conflict

Medics in Gaza transport injured civilians during war. Photo by Wafa in contract with APAimages

The response to the recent Israel-Gaza attack was swift by Saddleback College. 

“Being upset is part of being human and being engaged,” said Elliot Stern, president of Saddleback, in a college-wide email. “But I want you to know about resources that can help if that stress is interfering with your learning and daily living.  It can be challenging—balancing the negative feelings that come from engagement in world events and focusing on studying and homework. Know that you are not alone. We’re all feeling a bit unfocused.” 

South Orange County Community College District also issued a joint statement that included Stern, Juliana Barnes, SOCCCD chancellor and John Hernandez, president of Irvine Valley College. Resources are available for mental health services at the both of the campus health centers. 

“We understand that students, faculty, and staff may experience difficulty in managing reactions to these incidents. It’s a reminder that we must denounce violence, hate, and prejudice in all forms and remain committed to our mission rooted in empathy and compassion.” 

Several students expressed feelings regarding their own safety and well-being.

“I try to stay neutral,” said Christina Lopez, Biology major. “It’s a shame my mom can’t go to Egypt for vacation but that doesn’t really affect me directly.” 

“You know I feel unaffected,” said John, an engineering major who wished to not disclose his last name, and his friend who agreed with him.

“I totally agree,” said James, a sports medicine major who also wished not to give their last name. 

The Saddleback College Student Health Center, located in the Student Services Center, provides mental health services from therapists.  Walk-ins are accepted, or call (949) 582-4606 for immediate help or to schedule an appointment.