The University of Victoria Graduate Students’ Society condemns the Russian government for its attack on Ukraine and stands with the people of Ukraine during this tragic and difficult time. We recognize that this conflict affects UVic students, some of whom are Ukrainian citizens or have family, partners or friends in Ukraine. The GSS supports the financial and economic sanctions against the Russian government by the Government of Canada and other countries.
For those experiencing anxiety, distress or other mental health challenges due to the ongoing conflict, we suggest the following resources:
- The International Centre for Students at UVic for international services, information, programs and supports for all students.
- The Student Wellness Centre at UVic for virtual or in-person appointments with counselors, health professionals, spiritual care providers, chaplains and more. Services are available both locally and at a distance.
- SupportConnect for free, 24-hour confidential mental health support for UVic students, available from anywhere.
- Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees (VICCIR) for trauma-informed mental health counselling services on a sliding scale offered to immigrants and refugees living on Vancouver Island.
- Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre (VIRCS) for a wide range of supports.
- Here2Talk, the provincial mental health support line for post-secondary students, providing free, confidential counseling and community referral services, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via app, phone or web.
For those sharing information about the conflict in Ukraine, we recommend the following:
- Do not share images of bodies or people in grave distress without the consent of the person depicted or their family. Consider carefully before linking to sources with such images as they can be traumatic for both viewer and the people depicted. (This is especially true for our membership where there are sizeable communities from countries that have experienced recent wars or dictatorships.)
- Verify your information with multiple, non-partisan sources before sharing.
- Consider that it is better not to share something than to share a piece of information that later is proved false.
For those wishing to support the Ukrainian people, we encourage the following:
- Donations to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal or the Canada-Ukraine Foundation Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
- Contact your Member of Parliament or other elected representatives and ask them to call on the Government of Canada to prioritize granting asylum to refugees from Ukraine.
The UVic Graduate Students’ Society Board of Directors