Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Mental Health Resources: Managing Ambiguity

Ambiguity is upsetting because it can mean we are not in total control and are at the will of things often  bigger than ourselves. When we feel out of control, our response may be to fight, flight, or freeze, which are  extreme responses and can have less than positive outcomes.

Handling ambiguity has a more positive outcome when we can access the parts of ourselves that are curious, optimistic, and proactive rather than just the parts that are angry, scared, or paralyzed. One thing we can do is reframe ambiguity and use it as a tool to pause, reflect, and learn. A few examples include:

  • Ambiguity can lead us to use creativity to figure out how to address what is in front us even when it is ambiguous rather than getting overwhelmed and deskilled.
  • Ambiguity can be humbling, which can get us to stop and listen rather than get stuck with fixing and controlling.
  • Ambiguity can help us build our abilities to handle challenges rather than becoming paralyzed and avoiding them.
  • Ambiguity can help us see the details so we can make smaller moves toward the larger goal, especially when the larger goal seems unclear at the beginning.

For more information about campus mental health resources, see

For counseling and support, theEmployee Assistance Program offers confidential counseling at no cost for UI employees and their families; or University Counseling Service offers confidential counseling and support for students. Participate in Kognito Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Training.

University of Iowa Self-Reported COVID-19 Testing

These data reflect new cases since May 28, 2021.

The University of Iowa has published an updated snapshot of self-reported positive COVID-19 tests from faculty, staff, and students.

Number of self-reported cases of COVID-19:


  • New cases: 0
  • Total cases: 3,192


  • New cases: 2
  • Total cases: 503

These numbers reflect only self-reported positive or presumed positive COVID-19 tests from UI faculty, staff, and students on the academic campus since Aug. 18, 2020. These data will not match data reported by UI Hospitals & Clinics or by the Iowa Department of Public Health for several reasons, including different testing time intervals and geographic scope. Students who also are employees of the university are only reported in the student number to avoid double counting. The UI has more than 30,000 students and nearly 30,000 employees. Many employees continue to work remotely but have self-reported to authorize sick leave.

Number of residence hall students in quarantine: 0*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 0**

*Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

**Self-isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected.