The University of North Carolina System hosted the first Behavioral Health Convening recently in Winston-Salem, NC. The event gathered more than 100 health professionals, faculty and staff from all of the 17 UNC institutions.
Keynote speakers included, Dr. Nance Roy, Chief Clinical Officer of the JED Foundation; Dr. Betsey Tilson, director of the NC State Health Department; Dr. Amelia Arria, director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development; and Dr. Sarah Ketchen Lipson, associate director of the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health.
The two-day sessions addressed issues on student self-care, promoting wellness, and building a healthier community.
“We’ve become increasingly aware of the growing demand to provide behavioral health services to our students,” said Dr. Karrie Dixon, UNC System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “This convening was an opportunity to evaluate current behavioral health trends and issues and allowed health professionals on our campuses to engage in innovative and effective programming that supports students.”
Other presenters included representatives from UNC System university counseling centers and mental health departments, who interact with students with behavioral health concerns on a daily basis. Presenters discussed increasing behavioral health education and access to mental health resources on college campuses.
This approach, according to Dr. Dixon, allows universities to work together in making sustainable changes that strengthen the services, programs, and resources offered to students within the UNC System.
In conjunction with the conference, the system is providing funding for campus initiatives that address the changing behavioral health and wellness needs for all UNC system students.