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Services available in the field of mental health care

Dear students,

Several weeks have passed since the attack, and our team has been intensively addressing how to mitigate the consequences of the trauma as much as possible and to guide you safely through the upcoming period, not only in terms of psychosocial care but also in setting up the security of the university. In this article, we want to share with you the services available in the field of mental health care, how we are dealing with the consequences of the attack on 21 December 2023 from a security perspective, and what you can expect in the upcoming months.

We are aware that psychosocial care and support are a key part of the recovery of our community. Many external organizations and individuals have offered assistance to the university, so we now have sufficient capacity for everyone affected by this tragic event. Please take care of yourself and your health, and do not hesitate to take advantage of the offered support. Both individual and group consultation is available to you free of charge, regardless of the faculty you study at. Below you will find an overview of the options offered by Charles University and other professional workplaces. Complete information and the latest updates are available on the university’s website, in the special edition of the CU Point Newsletter and the regular issues that follow, which are sent to you by e-mail every month.

· The Czech Institute for Psychotraumatology and EMDR organizes group meetings focused on promoting resilience and stabilizing acute stress symptoms after the event at the Faculty of Arts (FF UK) in the form of live and online meetings held in a safe environment. The groups are both sharing and non-sharing, so you are not required to share your feelings or talk about your experiences verbally if you do not feel like it. The groups will run throughout January and February. You can complete the application form here:

· Mediation of psychological assistance:

A special email hub has been set up for CU students and employees who feel they need support. We will connect you or your loved ones with specific experts (internal and external) who have offered their services according to your needs.

· Schedule at the Counselling Centre of the Carolina Centre (CU Point):

In connection with the situation at FF UK, our psychologists have scheduled new dates for individual consultation for all CU students and staff. Open groups in Czech and English run throughout January, even during the exam period.

· The Centre for the Care of the Soul offers spiritual accompaniment in crises for all CU students and staff. It offers assistance to anyone who has been robbed of a sense of security or who has otherwise been affected by this absurd, malevolent act.

We have also created recommendations for you that provide simple steps to help you in the current situation:

· Recommendations for supporting mental health

It is understandable that many students and employees may have increased concerns about their safety. However, in assessing the current situation, it is crucial to point out that the attack of 21 December was a completely extraordinary and isolated event. There are no indications of any ongoing danger. From a purely security perspective, we are thus in a routine phase without any heightened level of danger. Of course, from the broader perspective of psychological impact, we are in a post-traumatic phase, which has specific characteristics and affects our perception of safety and some of our needs.

In recent weeks, we have been working intensively on refining our security strategy and specific measures. A few days ago, the Rector’s Board approved an updated security plan that takes into account the following priorities:

1. Increasing the ability to properly respond in crisis situations.

2. Introducing an effective warning system using technology for rapid information dissemination.

3. Making adjustments to buildings to increase safety, focusing especially on lockdown procedures and preparation of crisis packages.

4. Improving coordination after incidents.

5. Expanding support in the area of psychological counselling.

We have decided not to use gun checks with x-ray security scanners and authorization entry systems. We do not consider these tools to be a realistic solution, especially given the operational and personnel limitations. Instead, we will focus on measures that are much more effective and also more in line with our university culture.

In the upcoming months, we will focus on the following at the individual faculties:

- Improving evacuation procedures.

- Supplementing equipment for crisis situations.

- Training for employees and students on how to behave in crisis situations.

- Setting up a communication system for the rapid dissemination of warnings.

We would like to ask you, our students, to be vigilant and share information about any danger or suspicious activity. Do not hesitate to approach any employee. You may also contact us directly in the security department. We will take your initiative seriously, help you evaluate its importance, and suggest any appropriate steps.

We would also like to ask you not to enter university buildings, including dormitories, with items that can be considered dangerous, life-threatening weapons. In the current tense situation, even the assumption that you are armed can lead to undesirable reactions. If you do not feel safe, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss the situation and find a safe solution.

We wish you a successful start to the new semester, and we are here for you should you have any questions or suggestions.

On behalf of the Security Department of the Rectorate of Charles University

Otomar Sláma (

Zdeněk Kalvach (

On behalf of CU Point (psychosocial support)

Zuzana Poláková (

Lenka Henebergová (lenka.henebergová

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