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Multicultural Mental Health & Equity Initiative (MMHEI)

Our Vision

This initiative was developed by CAPS staff in consultation with UNC Chapel Hill’s CAPS to specifically address the mental health and wellbeing needs of students of color.  In recognition of both the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on folx of color as well as the ways in which traditional mental health services have historically neglected development of culturally-responsive services, CAPS MMHEI in alignment with the larger university’s goals to pursue equity, inclusion, and diversity, endeavors to destigmatize mental health among folx of color, eliminate barriers to access, and provide culturally congruent support/resources.  By broadening access to mental health education and support, we also hope to broaden the scope of this initiative based on the needs of our multicultural student body.

Who We Are:

Alex Alvarez Rivas, LCSW

Phylicia Currence, LCSW

Eva Gonzalez, LCSW

Terrence Harper, PhD

Jalisa Lewis, LCSW

Leigh Norwood, LCSW, Director of the Center for Integrated Care & MMHEI Advisor Emerita

What We Do:

We are invested in developing and utilizing multiple ways of providing mental health services to students, including but not limited to outreach services, consultation, individual counseling, and group counseling.  Essentially this is an initiative that seeks to connect students of color intentionally with sources of mental health support and resources, using less traditional means based on the notion that true equity entails a commitment to reconceptualizing services based on the needs of folx who traditional services weren’t designed to serve.  

How to Connect:

There are multiple ways to connect with MMHEI.  MMHEI Clinicians meet with students during office hours (via phone, zoom, or in-person). 

Fall Office Hours have concluded for the semester.  Please visit us in January to see our Spring 2023 office hours.  Take care!


To request an outreach program facilitated by MMHEI staff, please complete the Outreach Program Request Form and in the section titled “Additional information that may help facilitate the request” type “MMHEI”.  Alternatively, you can request a program by contacting MMHEI staff directly in the ways outlined above.

Past outreach programs facilitated by MMHEI staff include:

  • General CAPS Services
  • BIPOC Mental Health Resources
  • Increasing Motivation and Preventing Burnout
  • Homesickness and Taking Care of Your Mental Health in Your First Year
  • Engaging in Radical Self-Care
  • Black Masculinity and Mental Health

Previous Events


Sept. 27, 2021 at 6 PM in STUN Theater


*Dear son,

I'm telling you this in your fifteenth year.  

You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable....You exist. You matter. You have value. You have every right to wear your hoodie, to play your music as loud as you want. You have every right to be you. And no one should deter you from being you. You have to be you. And you can never be afraid to be you.*

Students, come join us for a movie, meal, conversation, and reflection on how our understanding of the history of injustice and resistance can inspire radical hope.  Register here:  Space is limited, food will be provided, and CDC guidelines for social distancing will be followed.

"Best Practices for Radical Healing on Campus"

April 1, 2022, 4-8 PM at the UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

Thriving Nedra

On Friday, April 1, 2022 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the MMHEI hosted the first Thriving Together Symposium at the UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.  This year’s theme was “Best Practices for Radical Healing on Campus.”  In collaboration with the School of Social Work and the Black Student Mental Health Task Force, the MMHEI team sought to better understand the experiences of historically marginalized students at Charlotte.  With this goal, empowerment spaces for these students were developed based on the Radical Healing Framework (French & colleagues, 2019), providing opportunities to validate their experiential realities and to engage in collective healing.  Join us as we share what we’ve learned and how this understanding will enhance the experiences and wellbeing of our students, now and in the future.