October 9, 2023
SMC Resources & Support, Middle East Conflict
Dear SMC Community:
As you are likely aware, conflict in the Middle East has led to horrific acts of violence—hundreds of innocent civilians who have lost their lives or are wounded, and individuals taken hostage.
SMC’s International Education Center has reached out to our Israeli and Palestinian F-1 visa students to offer mental health and academic support, as well as assistance with their visas. Many in the Santa Monica College community are also deeply affected, either directly or indirectly, by this violence. There are likely others experiencing immense pain and anxiety. I have heard that colleagues have family sheltering in place, and are at risk in the affected region (at least one colleague is reportedly in Israel, and is currently safe).
The college stands ready to support students and colleagues who are feeling the impact of these events. Please make a note of the following resources, and share them with students:
For students: The SMC Center for Wellness and Wellbeing provides a range of wellness and psychological services including short-term, confidential counseling:
Contact the Center to set up an appointment: Please call 310-434-4503 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For 24/7 emotional support, students can call 1-800-691-6003
For employees: The Employee Assistance Service for Education (EASE) provides free, short-term face-to-face counseling to SMC colleagues who may be facing issues including emotional distress, grief, and more:
Call 1-800-882-1341 to contact EASE and avail of this free service
Learn more about EASE on SMC’s dedicated EASE webpage.
I urge us to come together with kindness and empathy to support those in the SMC community who are grieving or experiencing great anxiety as a result of this violence.
Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.