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first_imgEvery semester, the University Counseling Center (UCC) hosts several student support groups ranging from the “International Student Support Group” to “Not the Perfect Family” to the “Social Anxiety Group.”“It’s a way for people with a specific issue or problem to get support from one another and to find ways of coping,” Peter Barnes, a psychologist with the UCC, said.All the support groups are held in the UCC. The groups are open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and Barnes has found that both groups of students use them equally. He said the UCC tries to balance the groups in terms of males and females.To join a group, Barnes said, students should schedule an initial assessment with a UCC counselor who can then discuss whether a group might be a recommended form of treatment for a student.Barnes said group treatment can sometimes be “the treatment of choice for certain issues.” This is especially true of the Social Anxiety Group — which Barnes runs — since it gives students the chance to speak in public, something that is often scary for them, he said.“It’s not a secondary or second-rate form of treatment,” Barnes said.The Social Anxiety Group includes six to eight people a semester, which Barnes said is typical of the groups. When the UCC receives enough people for a group, it will close the group to new members, but if it is unable to get enough people in the group, it will not offer the group for the semester, Barnes said. He said the point at which either one of these things occur is typically around fall break.Barnes said the “Be Real” group is a new group being offered this semester, but all the groups encourage authenticity.“One of the things we challenge group members to do is be real and authentic,” he said. “ … Group offers a chance for people to be real and authentic, which can be healing.”Barnes said one key benefit to groups is that it shows students the universality of suffering.“I think the thing Notre Dame students struggle with is letting themselves ask for help,” he said. “ … One of the benefits of group is learning you’re not alone. Hopefully students realize pain and struggles are part of the human experience.”Barnes said social media tends to paint a different picture of student health than the data shows, and he hopes groups can “debunk the myth” that all students are happy all the time.At the same time, Barnes said it can be scary to join a group since there is inherent risk.“When you put something out, you don’t know how people will respond,” he said. “That’s where the growth is — where it’s scary and uncomfortable.”Barnes also said outside of groups, friends should try to support each other by listening.“One of the most important things you can do for another is listen,” he said. “You don’t have to fix their problems.”Tags: group therapy, Mental health, University Counseling Centerlast_img read more

first_img Drug seizures and arrests very comprehensive, I love it!!!! In June 2012, President Sebastian Pinera and Defense Minister Andres Allamand launched a 12-year national defense strategy known as ENSYD. The plan covers issues such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling, piracy, and threats from organized crime. The plan emphasizes the fact that drug trafficking is the primary activity of organized crime groups in Chile. The buying, selling, and transporting of cocaine represents a threat to Chile’s national security, according to the plan. By Dialogo November 21, 2013 Chilean National Police are seizing drugs and capturing suspects in all regions of the country, not just in the Northern Border area. For example, in mid-November 2013, PDI agents arrested 11 suspects and seized more than 200 kilos of marijuana and cocaine base in the Valparaíso and Coquimbo regions. A month earlier, in October, PDI agents broke up an alleged drug trafficking ring in San Bernardo, on the southern outskirts of Santiago. PDI agents seized more than six kilos of cocaine, coca base, and marijuana, and confiscated three firearms. The 2013 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) ranked Chile as the 18th “most frequently mentioned country of provenance” for cases involving cocaine seizures. However, according to McDermott, this does not necessarily mean that Chile has the 18th highest level of cocaine being trafficked through the country. Since the report’s figures are dependent on cocaine seizures by authorities, it could mean that Chilean police are highly efficient and effective in seizing drugs that are being transported through the country, the security analyst said. In 2011, the Ministry of the Interior launched the Northern Border Plan, an initiative to improve security in the regions of Arica, Parinacota, Tarapaca and Antogagasta. The plan called for security forces to stop shipments of drugs, firearms, and other contraband by improving security along the border Chile shares with Bolivia and Peru. In April 2013, authorities extended the initiative into the Atacama region. The Carabiniers are a key part of the effort, along with the National Police force’s investigative unit, which is known as the PDI. The Ministry of the Interior is supervising the security effort. Authorities extended the Northern Border Plan in response to the fact that drug traffickers were extending their activities into regions south of Chile’s northern border. “Together with Carabiniers and the PDI we have decided to extend the Northern Border Plan to the Atacama region because we have seen that drug trafficking battlefield is shifting from the northern regions such as Antofagasta and Arica [and Iqique] to more southern territories,” said Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla. Effective police work While Chilean security forces must remain vigilant, the country overall enjoys a high level of safety, McDermott said. “One must not be alarmist,” McDermott said. “The level of crime in Chile is the lowest in Latin America. This really is a very stable and relatively safe society, certainly for the region.” Chilean security forces recently seized more than 100 kilos of coca base, bringing the total amount of drugs seized in the Latin American country to 15 tons between January and early November 2013. The 15 tons represents an 80 percent increase in drug seizures by the Chilean National Police, compared to the same time frame in 2012. On Nov. 8, the OS-7 anti-narcotics unit of the Chilean National Police, known as the Carabiniers, seized 115 kilos of coca base in Iqique, in the northern part of the country. The Carabiniers launched the investigation that led to the drug seizures in May. Anti-drug initiative Chile remains safe The increase in the amount of drugs seized by Chilean security forces in 2013 reflects increased activity by international drug traffickers, and the high level of professionalism of Chilean police, according to a security analyst. “It´s inevitable that Chile, just like any other country in Latin America, should suffer the effects of the international drug trade,” said Jeremy McDermott, director of InSight Crime, an independent research institution with headquarters in Medellin, Colombia. “This has made Chile an attractive trans-shipment point for cocaine.” But Chile is well-equipped to deal with an increase in drug trafficking, because it has strong security forces and an effective criminal justice system, McDermott said. “One of the advantages Chile has is strong institutions, an effective police force and low violence, which has been an ally against the penetration of international organized crime,” McDermott said. The strong police force and effective criminal justice system make it unlikely drug trafficking will increase in Chile, he said. “Chile remains unlikely to experience any serious growth in the influence of drug trafficking organizations, since it boasts some of the strongest political institutions in the region and lacks any notable domestic criminal structures,” McDermott explained. Broad new security planlast_img read more

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – New Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt’s plan to chart a new relationship with the organisers of the Caribbean Professional League (CPL) has received the backing of former West Indies wicketkeeper David Williams.In an interview with the website Cricbuzz recently, Skerritt said he wants to have a discussion with CPL officials to discuss the way the tournament is organised and the impact it is having on the development of the game in the region.Williams told the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday newspaper that it should be mandatory for CPL franchises to have at least one player in their teams that take the field, as a means of fast-tracking young players.He observed that a number of top T20 players from the Caribbean are now in the second half or in the twilight of their careers and there is an urgent need to find new, young talent to take their place.“The Chris Gayles and others are doing extremely well,” said Williams. “But those guys are going down in age, so we need to start to put structures in place just like the High Performance Centre to get these guys ready for when we throw them in the hot water. It does not make sense you pick them and they are on the bench and they never get the opportunity.”Since the CPL started six years ago, the six franchises have always included a number of regional youth players, but they have hardly played and last year, each team was allowed to field five international players in the starting line-up and many spent the time warming the bench.Williams said he understands teams want to field their strongest line-ups in a competitive CPL tournament, but it should be mandatory that young players are given an opportunity.“The tournament is good, the CPL is good,” said Williams. “(If) you look at the crowds most of the games are sold out and with the foreign players it is good.“What I would like to see, though, is some of our younger players getting more opportunities just like how (Indian Premier League) does it. We should have a format where the younger guys should be able to at least play. You should at least play two of our Under-19s or Under-23s to get their level of cricket up.”The CPL is in its seventh year and is scheduled to start in September.last_img read more