While we always hope and strive for a safe and positive learning environment for our students at UNC Charlotte, feelings of security have been significantly disrupted recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The way we think, feel, and behave for many of us has been altered. Below we offer some suggestions as you consider how you can support your students both currently and in the months to come.
Click here for some suggestions as you consider how you can support your students both currently and in the months to come.
Overview of CAPS Services
This brief video overviews programs and confidential mental health services offered by CAPS. Please feel free to share this with students however you see fit. We encourage you to consider putting this video and the link to the caps.uncc.edu webpage in your course site.
Helping A Suicidal Student Remotely
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the ways we engage with students has been altered, and most of our interactions take place in the virtual environment. If you are working with a student and are concerned about their well-being it is important to show care and concern, as well as connect the student with appropriate resources.
Click here to view a guide of how to support a student who is experiencing a mental health crisis remotely.
Student Resources to Promote Mental Health
- A five module video series on cultivating and enhancing resilience is available online for instructors to utilize in their classroom. This video series will provide psycho-education to students on resilience, as well as engage them in in-class activities designed to assist them in creating a personal resilience plan. The entire video series, with in-class activities is expected to take 45-50 minutes.
- The modules include:
- What is resilience?
- Types of life stressors & challenges
- Impact of stressors
- Strategies for cultivating resilience, part I
- Strategies for cultivating resilience, part II
- The video modules can be accessed here.
- The modules include:
Frequently asked questions
There are many possible warning signs for distress and suicide, such as acting anxious, engaging in high-risk behaviors, changes in personal hygiene, feeling hopeless, and isolation. In a virtual environment signs may include missing assignments, or completing large portions all at once, not responding to emails and other forms of communication, or when communicating notable changes in tone or content. The critical factor in identifying persons at risk is being aware of their usual behavior and assessing their behavior when they are demonstrating behavior that is "off" their usual; establishing a relationship is helpful in identifying signs of distress.
When a student shares they are struggling, thank them for sharing personal information with you and provide reassurance. If a student directly states, or vaguely alludes to wanting to harm themselves or no longer wishing to live, ask them specifically about these thoughts they are having. If what they share makes you concerned about their immediate safety, call Police and Public Safety immediately and stay there, or on the call with the person until help arrives. If they are not having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, gather more information, and provide the student with self-help information and resources.
There are a number of ways to take action if you are concerned about a student’s mental health or safety. You may choose to personally check in with them. Consider emailing the student in order to (1) share about direct behaviors you have noticed (2) ask directly how they are doing (3) offer to provide support and/or connect them with support resources. You can also complete a report through Niner Care https://ninercare.uncc.edu/. This report is provided directly to the Dean of Students’ Student Assistance and Support Services. You may reach them directly at 704-687-0289. If the student makes statements or exhibits behavior that indicates an immediate danger to their safety or the safety of others, contact Police and Public Safety at 704-687-0220 or call 911.
Currently, the physical building is not open and a date for reopening the building has not yet been determined. However, students are still able to access mental health services throughout the summer. In order to access these services, students will call the CAPS main line at 704-687-0311.
Students must call to schedule their own appointments. Faculty members are not able to call to schedule an appointment for a student. You are however able to call to consult with us about a student you are concerned about. Additionally, calling to schedule an appointment can be overwhelming. As a way to be supportive and encouraging, you can offer to be there with the student while they call to schedule their appointment.