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Penn Administrators spoke about student mental health support surrounding the Israel-Hamas war at the University Council Meeting on Oct. 18. Credit: Chenyao Liu

Wellness at Penn announces new resources to aid students’ wellbeing amid campus tensions surrounding the Israel-Hamas war. 

The resource page is dedicated to helping students manage their well-being, cope with world news and events, find sources of support, and get immediate help in crisis. 

The page shares four tips on how to cope with world news and events. This includes encouraging students to share their feelings with a trusted adult, taking breaks from social media and news sources, connecting with other community members, and maintaining a self-care routine. 

"As the violence in the Middle East continues, it carries a rippling effect across the world — impacting students across the Penn community and beyond. We are all likely experiencing a range of emotional discomfort," the website reads. 

To manage medical and mental care, Wellness at Penn cited three primary sources of support: Student Health and Counseling, the Jed Foundation, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. For immediate help in a crisis, the Get Help Now page has Penn-specific and external resources. 

At a University Council meeting on Oct. 18, administrators spoke about other ways they have been supporting students.

Provost John Jackson Jr. pointed to how the Penn Center for Teaching and Learning has offered resources for faculty on “teaching through traumatic events and teaching students who are living in stress and trauma.”

Vice Provost for University Life Karu Kozuma acknowledged that the number of resources at Penn can be "overwhelming."

“We have been trying to inform students about how different university resources are connected,” he said, adding that University Life is focusing on supporting the needs of student groups.

On Oct. 16, Penn community members gathered in front of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center for over seven hours, standing in solidarity with Palestine and criticizing Penn President Liz Magill’s second statement about the ongoing violence in the region. The event was met with a counter-demonstration of students and community members holding Israeli flags and news articles about the conflict, including the hostages held by Hamas.

Around 200 pro-Palestinian supporters gathered in front of Van Pelt Library on Oct. 18 for a walkout and vigil, and 50 Israel supporters stood quietly against the backdrop of the Benjamin Franklin statue. Other Israel supporters, separate from the first group, later marched down Locust Walk and stood behind the first group on College Green.

After Wednesday's demonstrations, Magill addressed the Penn community in a third statement since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, warning that hate speech and violence are not tolerated on Penn's campus.

On Oct. 20, around 400 Penn community members rallied in support of Israel, emphasizing Jewish unity while urging Penn to denounce pro-Hamas and antisemitic rhetoric on campus.

Staff writer Elea Castiglione contributed reporting.