UNCW offering mental health resources to students and faculty as classes begin

Incoming first year students are the largest group to use counseling services on campus.
Updated: Aug. 25, 2023 at 5:00 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Leaving home for the first time to attend university is a big step.

Whether students are ten miles away from home or 500 miles, it’s a big change for many who may now be on their own. Oftentimes, the move can create a large amount of stress in students, which is why UNCW provides numerous resources to help students when they need it the most.

Attending a university can be an exciting and liberating time for many first year students, but it can also bring new challenges for the newest students on campus.

“For about the first two to three weeks of the semester, we will see a great deal of incoming first-time freshmen that are really adjusting to college life. So that’s going to include not only adjustment to their classes and their class schedule, but also all the factors that are related to their newfound independence,” said Dr. Mark Perez-Lopez, director of the UNCW Counseling Center.

That’s why the UNCW Counseling Center is focused on getting the word out about the services they offer, so students know they have somewhere to turn when they may not have anyone else close by for support.

“We have individual counseling that we offer to students, we also offer group counseling. We typically will start those groups at around the third week of the fall semester,” said Perez-Lopez.

Within the last year, the UNCW Counseling Center has funded several initiatives to help those struggling with mental health. Two of those initiatives are an after-hours mental health hotline and a new training program for all students, staff and faculty called Bystander Intervention Training. Perez-Lopez explains the programs are free to for everyone on campus.

“It not only educates them about mental health and the services that are available on campus, but it also helps them to feel comfortable looking out for other people so that if they see a roommate or they know of a classmate and they think that person is struggling, they can feel confident in referring that person to the counseling center,” he said.

To learn more about the initiatives and programs that UNCW offers when it comes to wellness and mental health, click this link.