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Georgetown U. offers free counseling to those affected by government shutdown

As the federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, Georgetown University wants any affected staff and students to know they can take advantage of campus counseling services.

As of Saturday, approximately one-quarter of the federal government closed down as negotiations between Republicans and Democrats did not produce a funding agreement. The main issue is construction of a wall on border between the US and Mexico.

The shutdown could persist into the new year.

In an email obtained by The College Fix, GU Associate Vice President for Federal Government Relations Katy Button reminded the campus community that the university’s Faculty & Staff Assistance Program includes “free [and] confidential counseling,” and is available to those impacted by the federal closures.

I’m writing to share with you some implications for our University community following the government shutdown that began early Saturday morning. As many of you know, the federal government is the largest employer in the Washington, D.C. region and this disruption may have meaningful consequences for our students, faculty and staff, as well as their families and friends.

Unlike past shutdowns, however, this one is more limited in scope. Three-quarters of all government agencies are funded for the entire 2018-19 fiscal year—including the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services (which funds research entities like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation)—so the main sources of University research and financial aid funding will not be impacted.

Among the agencies affected by the shutdown are the Department of State and the Department of the Interior, which may lead to some impact for our community. International students seeking visas (either new ones for the spring semester or students looking to renew their visas over the break) may be impacted. The Office of Global Services is working with admitting academic departments to adjust start dates for these students, if needed.

Should you have a family member impacted by the shutdown (furloughed or working without pay) over a sustained period of time, there are a number of resources to assist you in the New Year. Georgetown University’s Faculty & Staff Assistance Program provides free, confidential counseling, consultation and educational services to faculty, staff and their immediate family members[.]

According to its website, services provided by the program include:

* Short-term counseling for faculty and staff with mental health, work-related, or other concerns that may affect job performance;
* Consultation with supervisors on managing troubled employees and improving employee job performance;
* Trainings and workshops on managing mental health and work/life balance, improving workplace skills, and on FSAP services;
* Referrals to community resources for mental health/psychosocial support and other types of assistance.

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