Gov. Cooper discusses mental health initiatives in colleges and universities

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Today, Gov. Roy Cooper joined U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and North Carolina Central University students, faculty and staff to learn more about the work at the university to expand and strengthen mental health services at North Carolina’s higher education institutions.

“We know the past few years have been challenging and we want to ensure our students have the tools they need to succeed,” said Cooper. “We will continue to focus on expanding access to mental health services for our students and partnering with strong institutions like North Carolina Central University to make it happen.”

In May 2021, the governor directed $5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to support mental health initiatives across the UNC System and in the state’s community colleges and independent colleges and universities. The funding is part of North Carolina’s share of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund, federal dollars that aim to help school districts, postsecondary institutions or other education-related entities address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UNC System is utilizing the funding to provide a 24-hour crisis hotline for students to receive support and to train up to 10,000 faculty, staff and students on mental health first aid at UNC System campuses, private universities and community colleges.

Nearly $1 million of the funding has been distributed to individual UNC institutions to support their work bolstering mental health resources on their campus. North Carolina Central University received $50,000 in funding to build partnerships with counseling professionals in key areas including trauma and family therapy.

North Carolina Central University is the nation’s first state-supported liberal arts college for Black students. Consistently ranked as a top Historically Black College or University and Best Regional University in the South, the university offers flagship programs in the sciences, education, law, business, nursing and the arts.