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A Special Health and Wellbeing Message from Larry Gourdine and Chris Smith

Larry Gourdine and Chris Smith sitting in front of a green background
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A special message from Larry Gourdine, interim dean of students, and Chris Smith, associate vice chancellor for student affairs with health and wellbeing, was emailed to UNC Charlotte students.

Your college years are some of the most special and exciting times of your lives, but let’s face it:  they can also be some of the most challenging and stressful. You are not just learning inside the classroom, you are learning every day: meeting new people, discovering new places, navigating a new world, often without the support network or safety net you might have been used to.

As we approach Spring Break and the second half of the semester, we hope you are looking forward to a chance to relax and unwind. We also know that many of you will be using this time to catch up, maybe work some extra hours, or  simply reset mentally for the second half of the semester. 

Now is a critical time to take care of yourself.

Your physical and mental health are directly connected with your academic and personal success. If you or someone you know is struggling, don’t wait. Reach out. 

The University has established many resources to create a community of care to help you prioritize your well-being. Read on to learn more and listen to the accompanying video for a special message on your health.

Housed in Student Affairs, the Health and Wellbeing unit on campus is comprised of five unique departments:

  • The Center for Integrated Care is a “one-stop shop” to help students navigate campus and community wellness resources through individual consultations, case management, referrals and follow-up care.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers services such as in-person counseling and referrals, telehealth consultations, crisis assistance, group therapy, self-help resources and after-hours support through ProtoCall.
  • University Recreation (UREC) includes a variety of fitness and wellness opportunities such as yoga and exercise for stress reduction as well as club and intramural sports to support your belonging and engagement.
  • The Center for Wellness Promotion (CWP) supports those coping with intimate partner violence, alcohol and other drug recovery, and delivers wellness education.
  • The Student Health Center provides general health checks, medication management and psychiatric assessment, nutrition counseling and more.

Spring Programs & Trainings

  • Amplify Your Wellbeing promotes campus health services and other student wellness initiatives. Look for the signature Wellness Block Party this spring on April 17.
  • Mental Health First Aid and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) focus specifically on mental health and suicide prevention. Registration is open now for students, faculty and staff for multiple training sessions throughout the semester.

Suicide & Crisis Support

ProtoCall empowers students with 24/7 access to licensed clinicians working with CAPS to support acute or urgent mental health needs. After hours, call CAPS at 704-687-0311. When you connect to the CAPS voicemail message, press '0' to be connected to a counselor by phone. 

Another important resource is 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, a three-digit dialing code offering 24/7 access to crisis counselors. When you call, text or chat 988 anywhere in the U.S., you will be connected to trained professionals who can help if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance abuse crisis, or other emotional distress. 

Campus Departments & Student Organizations

  • The Office of Disability Services supports students who may be navigating a wide variety of documented disabilities, including mental health disorders and chronic medical illnesses, by working together to plan reasonable accommodations. 
  • Atkins Library offers a Self-Care Collection of free, loanable devices and books for students to check out when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, funded by Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds.
  • Active Minds is a campus chapter of the national organization focused on mental health advocacy and discussion that brings students together to support and guide one another with positivity and open-mindedness. Learn more at Niner Engage.

Online Resources

  • Togetherall is a new app for UNC Charlotte students — free and anonymous — offering 24/7 peer-to-peer mental health support from licensed and registered mental health practitioners. Another useful tool, the Healthy 49ers wellness app, will launch this spring.
  • The Niner Nation Cares website serves as an information resource for Niner Nation to understand ways to stay safe on and off campus, along with health protocols in place on campus.
  • The Niner Needs website can connect you with a variety of campus services for basic needs like food/housing insecurity, legal services and financial assistance. 
  • The online Care and Concern referral is a way to inform the University of concerns; information will be routed to the appropriate University office to assist students with getting connected to campus support services.

Stay Connected

We welcome your feedback and suggestions as to what we can do better to support you. Please feel free to reach out to one or both of us. You can also follow clt_wellbeing on social media.

Meanwhile, save this email. Keeping this information on hand for yourself or others may be useful, now or in the future. 

We wish you success for the remainder of this spring semester, and we’re here for you.