Students of Color

Both national statistics and data compiled by Counseling & Psychological Services across the past five years suggest that students of color seek counseling services at a much lower rate relative to their European-American counterparts.  Nevertheless, data from the past five years analyzed by Counseling & Psychological Services has shown a steady increase in the use of our services by historically underrepresented groups. Here are the latest data on utilization rates of counseling services by various student communities of color compared to the larger UNC Charlotte student body.   Numbers provided below indicate the percentage of students seeking counseling who identify with each respective race/ethnicity out of all students who sought counseling during the 2012-2013 year.

Student community

Percentage of UNC Charlotte students using counseling services, by race/ethnicity, 2012-13

Percentage of all enrolled UNC Charlotte students by race/ethnicity, 2012-13




African American



American Indian/Native



Asian American/Asian






Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander







Traditional Barriers

There are a number of barriers that traditionally have prevented students of color from accessing mental health resources.  Currently and traditionally, few therapists of color exist in the mental health fields and often, understandably, students are reluctant to seek services from a setting that does not have individuals who look like them.  Often students will also report being confined by time, as other responsibilities in life take priority, leaving their mental health low on the list.  This tends to be particularly true for students who have financial concerns and/or are trying to balance employment and/or family roles with their student responsibilities.  In addition, there still remains a stigma attached to seeking counseling in many cultures and communities, as students report worrying that others will view them as “weak” or “crazy”.  Even more so, often it is not culturally appropriate to “air the family business”, especially with a professional.  Emotional pain can consequently be normalized and individuals of color may potentially be forced to function (at or above the standards of their European counterparts) with increased amounts of distress.  

Counseling Center Services

Traditionally, people of color have often been supported by spiritual values and/or kinship relationships, to name a few.  The Counseling Center honors traditional support systems and recognizes the importance that it has carried in many of our students’ lives.  Definitions of “mental health” and “therapy” differ across cultures and respectfully so.   At the Counseling Center we are aware that these varied perceptions are real and as such we strive to create an inviting and inclusive atmosphere that welcomes these perspectives and experiences, as well as works alongside of them, rather than dismisses them, in order to provide support in a culturally sensitive way.  

Current services and collaborative outreach efforts that specifically target our students of color include:

If you are interested in any of our services, or are interested in consulting with a counselor, please contact us at (704) 687-0311.

Other On-Campus Resources

Multicultural Academic Services
2400 Colvard North

Multicultural Resource Center
Student Union 210

Student Organizations



(please also see our international student webpage at:


Community Resources

NAACP – North Carolina Chapter

Crossroads Charlotte

Latin American Coalition in Charlotte

100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte

National Coalition of 100 Black Women

International House website on Ethnic clubs and organizations:

Freedom Center for Social Justice:

Recommended Readings

Racial and Gender Microaggressions on a Predominantly White Campus

Being Black in a Predominantly White University

Additional Readings:   Students of Color and the College Experience: An Annotated Bibliography