Director's Corner: Frances Diaz, Psy.D.

Frances Diaz, Psy.D.

Dear UCI Students and Community,

Acts of violence, hatred, and racism  towards members of the AAPI Community have increased exponentially since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The Counseling Center extends empathy to our students, staff, faculty, and entire UCI Community who are directly and indirectly impacted by the acts of violence occurring around the world. We reassert our position of solidarity with  all members of our AAPI Community, against any form of xenophobia, oppression, and racism.  Our communities are hurting.  Know that we see you, we support you, and we are here for you. The profound psychological impact of these current events are REAL and can weigh on us. 

The Counseling Center is guided by the values of Service, Community, Inclusion & Advocacy, and Integrity & Accountability. We, as a UCI community, must not become numb to the longstanding experiences of visible and invisible racism  that have come to a culmination in the current times.  We must recognize the grief, pain, sadness, despair, anger, exhaustion, and full range of emotions that are being experienced before true healing can begin.   It is our hope that the UCI Anteater community can come together in support of those who are suffering. Please take care of yourselves and reach out to take care of one another, as the healing power within our community is great.  Please also know that the UCI Counseling Center is here to support you.

Sending Support!

UCI Counseling Center Staff

Frances Diaz- UCI Counseling Center Director


During regular business hours (Monday through Friday 8am-5pm) in order to schedule routine appointments and for all other inquiries:

  • Please Call (949) 824-6457 to speak to a front office staff member about scheduling an appointment, to learn more about our current services, or if you trying to reach one of our mental health professionals.
    • Please note that if someone from our office has to return a phone call that it will come from a blocked number
    • In case we do not reach you, please ensure you have set up your voice mail and that you regularly check your messages

For Life Threatening Emergencies or for Urgent Care needs 24/7:

  • Call (949) 824-6457 and select Option # 2. You will be transferred to a crisis support line
  • Text “Home” to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line
  • Call National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255
  • Call UCI Campus Police at (949) 824-5223
  • Call 911
  • Go to your nearest Emergency Room


Accellion Data Breach

Mind Your ZOT!

Taking Care of Your Emotional Health in an Emergency

Taking Care of Your Emotional Health in an Emergency


It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after an emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic and continued concerns around anti-Black and anti-Asian violence and discrimination. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your loved ones. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.


Take the following steps to cope with an emergency:

  • Take care of your body– Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
  • Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
  • Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
  • Stay informed– When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
  • Avoid too much exposure to news– Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
  • Seek help when needed– If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor.


Look out for these common signs of distress:

  • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
  • Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Anger or short-temper.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
  • If you experience these feelings or behaviors for several days in a row and are unable to carry out normal responsibilities because of them, please reach out to a professional for support. The Counseling Center is available to provide support, guidance, and additional resources to help you get through this!


(adapted from

For more informatoin on how to manage stress related to the COVID-19 outbreak, please click here

Additional Resources:

Notice of Nondiscrimination

Land Acknowledgement

The UCI Counseling Center and the UC Irvine campus are located on the homelands of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples who, in the face of on-going settler colonialism, continue to claim their place and act as stewards of their ancestral lands as they have for the past 8,000 years. The region extends from the Santa Ana River to Aliso Creek and beyond.

Additionally, the greater Los Angeles area is home to the largest indigenous populations in the U.S. It is the ancestral homeland of the Tongva, the Acjachemen, the Chumash, the Tataviam, the Cahuilla nations, the Chemehuevi, the Pipa Aha Macav, the Morongo, the Pechanga, the Yuhaaviatam, the Soboba among other peoples.  It is also presently home to large communities of Indigneous peoples from the greater Turtle Island, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America, including Zapotec and Mixtec peoples. We proudly acknowledge that Los Angeles is also a place with large communities of Two Spirit peoples who organize and fellowship with each other.

The University of California is the only world-class public research university for, by, and of California. For over 150 years, UC has expanded the horizons of what we know about ourselves and our world.

UC Irvine was founded in 1965 and is one of the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system. It has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, leadership, and character development. It is one of only 66 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities who lead innovation, scholarship, and solutions that contribute to scientific progress, economic development, security, and well-being. UC Irvine is a driving force for the investigation, discovery, and dissemination of knowledge that serves and improves our local, national and global communities.

UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is ranked by Money magazine as one of the “best colleges in the U.S.”