UNC System, North Carolina Community Colleges, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Host Virtual Mental Health Meeting

The multi-session seminar will feature NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley

CHAPEL HILL, NC — The University of North Carolina System will host its 2022 Virtual Behavioral Health Meeting on March 30-31. This year’s seminar is supported by a partnership with the North Carolina Community College System and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is free and open to faculty and staff at all college campuses in North Carolina. Media are invited to observe. Click here to join.

The 2022 Virtual Behavioral Health Congress is an opportunity for campus representatives across the state to develop ideas, share best practices, and learn about programs that help foster healthy campus communities and resilient students.

North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley will join the 2022 convocation as a special guest speaker. Kinsley, the former chief assistant secretary for health at DHHS, served as the chief operating officer for North Carolina’s pandemic response. His experience spans the public and private sectors, including positions at the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and executive operations for a behavioral health care service provider in West Carolina. North. He is also an adjunct professor at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The conference’s virtual sessions will examine the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, promote mental health first aid, explore the importance of campus collaboration, and more.

“Everyone deserves to work and learn in a place where they feel welcomed, supported and hopeful for the future,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “I am extremely grateful to the thousands of people across our state who are working to create this environment for students and those in crisis. I’m glad we can come together to share what we’ve learned and how we can improve.

“Increased stress on the mental health of students, faculty and staff has been a growing concern over the past two years with changes to traditional campus life – quarantines, isolation and social distancing – resulting from the pandemic,” said Hope Williams, president of the ICCU. “The Behavioral Health Convening will provide information, support and resources to faculty and staff who help students every day who need help dealing with these ongoing challenges. It is another example of our strong partnerships in higher education in North Carolina that NCICU, UNC, and the NC Community College System are working together to address these concerns for all of our students.

“Supporting the mental health of our students is paramount to their success,” said Thomas Stith, president of the NC Community College System. “A recent report from the Mayo Clinic shows alarming statistics, as up to 44% of college students reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety. The report showed that suicide is the third leading cause of death among college students. This is indeed a critical time for this convening and partnership to keep the health and well-being of students at the forefront of our efforts as we serve them.

About the University of North Carolina System

The UNC system serves more than 244,000 students on 17 campuses, including North Carolina’s 16 public universities and the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. The UNC system is one of the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the nation, with more than $1.8 billion in research spending and universities serving every region of the state. Affiliated organizations include UNC Health and PBS North Carolina, with its 12-station broadcast network.

About the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS)

The North Carolina community college system includes “The Great 58” community colleges throughout the state. It is the third largest community college system in the nation, enrolling over 500,000 students annually. The mission of the North Carolina Community College System is to open the door to high quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to postsecondary education, maximize student success, develop a skilled workforce at the global and multicultural scale and improve the lives and well-being of individuals. Thomas A. Stith III is the president (10th). The system is governed by the State Board of Community Colleges. Students who attended North Carolina community colleges from July 2009 to June 2019 accounted for 33% of all North Carolina earners, totaling 1.7 million people and $60 billion in wages earned during the fiscal year 2020.

About North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU)

The NCICU comprises the state’s 36 private nonprofit liberal arts, research, and comprehensive colleges and universities accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The NCICU provides information to and about private colleges and universities, provides staff development opportunities, and coordinates collaborative programs between colleges and universities.

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