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Cultivating a Community of Care

We believe that the entire University community is responsible for the safety and emotional well-being of our students. Therefore, we are committed to providing mental health and suicide prevention initiatives at UNC Charlotte that strive to enrich the community of care that is an intrinsic piece of the institutional identity.  To be successful as an institution, all members of Niner Nation must be involved and take an active role.

By providing training, education and resources, we are committed to building each individuals' capacity to be an active member of our community of care. With that guiding principle in mind, there are several programs in place to help the community partner with the mental health professionals to identify, respond to, refer, and assist students at risk.

IN A CRISIS

Students, faculty, staff, and family members are encouraged to learn about CAPS crisis services. Help for students is available throughout the day and evening hours from a variety of sources.

SELF-HELP RESOURCES

We recognize that many students may want to do some work on their own before deciding to speak with a counselor at CAPS. Our Self Help page provides resources that can be accessed at any time as students are working to improve their well-being. Complete an online mental health screening, access our video workshop modules, or connect with additional self help materials.


SUICIDE PREVENTION

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among people ages 15-29. Students have support available on campus, and while the suicide rate among students is approximately one-half the rate of their non-college peers, the percentage of students who tell their counselors they have thoughts of suicide is increasing nationally and at the University. 

The rise of suicidal thoughts reminds us that we all must take an active role in recognizing signs of distress, being knowledge about resources and working to connect individuals with appropriate resources. Promoting positive mental health and preventing suicide requires continuous, comprehensive training and development for all members of the community. Below are the training opportunities CAPS offers Niner Nation.

QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer)

QPR is a 90 minute training intended to foster a community of care by teaching individuals how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, including verbal, behavioral, and situational clues. The training provides guidelines on how to Question a person about suicidal thoughts, Persuade them to get help, and Refer them to campus and/or local resources.  The training is both educational and experiential and includes:

  • An overview of statistics regarding suicide
  • Myths versus facts
  • Behavioral, verbal, and situational warning signs
  • Concrete tools for helping someone in distress
  • Role plays in small groups to practice these skills

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

MHFA is an 8-hour training is a national public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses and substance use, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This course demonstrates how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. 

The training is both educational and experiential and includes:

  • An overview of statistics regarding mental health and suicide
  • Myths versus facts
  • Behavioral, verbal, and situational warning signs
  • Concrete tools for helping someone in distress

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. For more information on this training please contact Sarah DeWitt, mental health educator, at sdewitt4@uncc.edu or call 704-687-6071.