On Jan. 20, 2022, Student Affairs sent a message to students containing information about mental health services such as Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Disability Services, and more. The email is signed by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Health and Wellbeing, Dr. Mari Ross and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Dr. Christine Reed Davis.

“Your mental and emotional wellbeing is always important to us,” said the Jan. 20 special message.

Student Affairs announced the addition of Refresh Weekend to the academic calendar. Refresh Weekend replaces the former Spring Weekend to bring awareness to mental health and managing stresses. No classes will be held this weekend of April 15-16. There will also be several programs and events focusing on mental health leading up to Refresh Weekend throughout campus.

In the past, UNC Charlotte has given Health and Wellness days where no classes would be held, and no assignments were given.

“The mental and physical wellbeing of Niner Nation is of critical importance, and we care deeply about you,” said the email.

The message also reminds students of the Student Health Center’s mental health resources, such as checks, medication management, psychiatric assessment and nutrition counseling. The Center for Wellness Promotion (CWP) is also available for support concerning intimate partner violence, alcohol, drug recovery and general wellness education.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is also a resource for counseling and group therapy.

CAPS services are available to any currently enrolled UNC Charlotte student and are free.

There is no set number of times a student can meet with a counselor at CAPS; however, four to six sessions is the typical treatment model. Group therapy is unlimited, and each person is given one brief counseling session per academic year.

CAPS further offers a free online screening tool to help determine the need for therapy from a counselor. Appointments are also available online for a virtual consultation with a counselor from CAPS.

Other specific programs highlighted by CAPS include Mental Health First Aid and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training that teaches risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses and teaches about different types of care ranging from professional to peer and self-care.

To be certified, students must also complete two hours of pre-work and attend the full six hours of instructor-led training.

Upcoming dates are Feb. 7 and 9 from 5:30-3:30 p.m. and will take place virtually.

The QPR program is a 90-minute training on recognizing warning signs of suicide, responding to such signs and who to contact. The next date for this session is Feb. 16 from 4- 5:30 p.m. and will be held virtually.

Registration for both programs is online and now available through the CAPS website.

“These training opportunities are just one way to work to reduce mental health stigma and take an active role in building an ethic of wellbeing and foster a community of care at UNC Charlotte,” states the CAPS website.

Other relevant campus events include the virtual From Burnout to Balance workshop on Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. hosted by CAPS, the virtual Finding Motivation Workshop at 11:15 a.m. and the virtual Stress Survival 101 course on Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

There are also online CAPS workshops published known as the Coping with Anxiety and Living Mindfully (CALM) workshop. These workshops have multiple sessions and topics pre-recorded and available for viewing for free online, with topics ranging from breathing exercises to grounding and self-care.

CAPS reports signs and symptoms of stress such as erratic behavior, withdrawal, disruptive behavior, abrupt change in personal hygiene, and more.

If there are urgent concerns for the safety of another student or the community, CAPS suggests calling 911 or UNC Charlotte Police and Public Safety at 704-687-2200. CAPS can also provide support on approaching another student to seek help if experiencing psychological concerns. To reach the on-call counselor at CAPS, call 704-687-0311. There is also an anonymous online care and concern referral available to fill out via the CAPS website.

Other available resources include the University Recreation Center (UREC), the Office of Disability Services, and Active Minds, a campus chapter of a national organization dedicated to mental health advocacy.

“One of our biggest strengths lies in each other. Let’s check on one another. Let’s ask each other how we are doing,” states the email.

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