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Multicultural Mental Health & Equity Initiative (MMHEI)

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:

Jalisa Lewis, LCSW, Staff Clinician

Phylicia Currence, LCSW, Staff Clinician

Terrence Harper, PhD, Coordinator

Leigh Norwood, LCSW, Associate Director for Access and Equity

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.  


During the 2021-2022 academic year, the MMHEI will be working in close collaboration with a number of campus offices in order to maximize the accessibility of our clinicians.  These offices are:

The Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion

The Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement

Student Assistance and Support Services

How to Connect:

There are multiple ways that students of color can connect with MMHEI.  For the Fall 2021 semester, office hours will be held virtually using zoom.  Students are also welcome to speak with our MMHEI clinicians via phone during their office hours. 

  • Office Hours (join via
    • Mondays: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    • Wednesdays: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    • Thursdays: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm; 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    • Alternative times may be possible by request, depending on clinician availability.
  • Schedule ahead of time: You can call us at 704-687-0311 during our business hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday).  When you call, please request to speak with an MMHEI staff member.  You can also contact our coordinator at  Drop-in appointments can be scheduled on the same day or in advance. 

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


Previous Programs


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.