Multi-series convening will examine impacts of COVID-19 on students, faculty and staff

CHAPEL HILL, NC –  The University of North Carolina System in March will host a series of virtual events  exploring the impacts of COVID-19 on student mental health.

The 2021 Virtual Behavioral Health Convening is an opportunity for representatives from the System’s 17 institutions to share best practices, programs and ideas that help nurture healthy campus communities. The theme, “RESILIENCE,” speaks to the challenges campuses have faced during the 2020-21 academic year. Sessions will examine COVID-19’s effects on the mental health of students, faculty and staff.

“Student mental health has long been a point of focus across the UNC System, but the sweeping effects of COVID-19 have further revealed campus community needs,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “Many of our students, staff, and faculty have experienced anxiety and depression during this pandemic with the isolation it has wrought. This convening is an opportunity for us to nurture a spirit of hope, encouragement and build the resilience to endure.”

The Behavioral Health Convening will begin at 10 a.m. on March 2. The series will continue on March 9 and March 16. Registration is free and open to all UNC System and NC Community Colleges faculty and staff. Attendees will include staff from campus counseling centers, health centers, recovery programs, deans of students, and faculty in the areas of psychology and wellness.

“Considering the tumultuous year students have endured, it is encouraging to know that mental health is a top priority for all institutions in the UNC System,” said Toya Corbett, UNC System assistant vice president of student affairs. “Discussions during the Behavioral Health Convening will engage everyone in a concerted effort to foster a culture of care on their respective campuses.”

Discussions will focus on support programs, the scope of student mental health problems, current issues and trends, and health services for students. Sessions will also explore the important relationship between campus counseling centers and the overall health and wellness of campus communities.

Kevin Kruger will join the 2021 convening as a guest speaker. Since 2012, Kruger has served as president and CEO for NASPA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. As NASPA president, Kruger represents student affairs at a variety of national forums.