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Press Release

Multi-session seminar will feature NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –  The University of North Carolina System will host its Virtual 2022 Behavioral Health Convening on March 30-31. This year’s seminar is supported by a partnership with the North Carolina Community College System and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. 

Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is free and open to faculty and staff from all college campuses in North Carolina. Media are welcome to observe. Click here to register.   

The 2022 Virtual Behavioral Health Convening is an opportunity for representatives from campuses across the state to develop ideas, share best practices, and learn about programs that help nurture healthy campus communities and resilient students. 

North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services Kody Kinsley will join the 2022 convening as a special guest speaker. Kinsley, the former chief deputy secretary for health at DHHS, served as the operations lead for North Carolina’s pandemic response. His experience spans the public and private sectors, including positions at the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and leadership operations for a behavioral health care service provider in western North Carolina. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

The convening’s virtual sessions will examine COVID-19’s effects on mental health, promote mental health first aid, study the importance of on-campus collaboration and much more. 

“Everyone deserves to work and learn in a place where they feel welcomed, supported, and hopeful about the future,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “I’m enormously grateful to the thousands of people across our state who are working to create that environment for students and those in crisis. I’m glad we can come together to share what we’ve learned and how we can improve.”

“The increased stress on the mental health of students, faculty, and staff has been of growing concern over the past two years with the changes in traditional campus life — quarantines, isolation and social distancing — resulting from the pandemic,” said Hope Williams, president of NCICU. “The Behavioral Health Convening will provide insights, support, and resources for faculty and staff who are helping students every day who need assistance in managing these ongoing challenges. It is another example of our strong higher education partnerships in North Carolina that NCICU, UNC and the NC Community College System are working together to address these concerns for all our students.”

“Supporting the mental health of our students is paramount to their success,” said NC Community College System President Thomas Stith. “A recent report from the Mayo Clinic shows alarming statistics, such as up to 44% of college students reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety. The report showed that suicide is the third leading cause of death for college students. This indeed is a critical time for this convening and partnership to keep the health and wellbeing of students at the forefront of our efforts as we serve them.”

About the University of North Carolina System

The UNC System enrolls more than 244,000 students at 17 campuses, including North Carolina’s 16 public universities and the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. The UNC System is among the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the country, with more than $1.8 billion in research expenditures and universities that serve every region of the state. Affiliate organizations include UNC Health and PBS North Carolina, with its 12-station broadcast network.

About the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS)

The North Carolina Community College System comprises “The Great 58” community colleges throughout the state. It is the third largest community college system in the nation that serves more than 500,000 students a year. The mission of the North Carolina Community College System is to open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce, and improve the lives and well-being of individuals. Thomas A. Stith III is the president (10th). The system is governed by the State Board of Community Colleges. Students who attended NC community colleges from July 2009 to June 2019 accounted for 33% of all North Carolina wage earners, totaling 1.7M people and $60B wages earned in FY 2020.

About the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU)

NCICU is comprised of the state’s 36 private, nonprofit liberal arts, research, and comprehensive colleges and universities accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). NCICU provides information to and about private colleges and universities, offers staff development opportunities, and coordinates collaborative programs among colleges and universities.