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Gov. Cooper announces $7.7 million to bolster mental health programs in NC colleges, universities



RALEIGH, N.C. Local Charlotte — “Helping us reach students who are struggling.”

That’s what UNC System President Peter Hans said $7.7 million would do for college and university students across North Carolina moving forward.

The investment, announced by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on Monday, will go toward providing additional mental health services to students. The funding will also go toward sustaining initiatives previously created by the governor’s $5 million grant issued to the UNC system for similar use in May 2021.

“Identifying their mental distress and getting them access to quality treatment is more critical for our students than ever,” Gov. Cooper said in a press release. “This investment will help our state’s colleges and universities better support their students so they can thrive.”

The money being put into these programs stems from the federal Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools funds that have reverted to the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund.

Staff and faculty across all state colleges and universities will be offered suicide prevention training. The aim of this training will be to help school leaders better identify and support students in crisis.

The UNC System will also use the newly-pledged $7.7 million to continue providing students across all 17 UNC institutions access to an after-hours mental health hotline, the press release said.

“There has been a troubling rise in mental health challenges for young people across our nation, and we’re seeing the impact here in North Carolina,” Hans said. “We need to meet that need with urgency and compassion, and these funds go a long way in helping us reach students who are struggling.”

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