Mental health counseling assistance at NCCU is supported by state, federal leaders

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- College students face plenty of daily pressure, from coursework to paying their higher education bills. But their mental health can also present challenges that Governor Roy Cooper and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona discussed on the campus of North Carolina Central University.

Their first stop Wednesday morning was the LGBTA Center inside NCCU's student center, where they heard about the programs and opportunities available for support and counseling on campus. They talked about reducing the risk of self-harm and other reactions to pressure felt by students.

"There's a stigma in our community regarding how we deal with mental health. Within our families, within our churches, within those types of familiar organizations." NCCU vice chancellor Angela Coleman said.

It's happening at a time when some of the nation's HBCUs get bomb threats and the black communities are dealing with problems related to COVID-19 as well as violence that affects some students.

"We are concerned about the bomb threats. And in fact, next week I have a call scheduled with all of our HBCU chancellors to talk about steps that we can take to protect the public," Governor Cooper said.

NCCU's portion of $40 billion in federal money from the American Rescue Plan helps to make the university's assistance efforts possible.

"What I saw here today at North Carolina Central and what I heard from the students gives me great hope in where we're going with education across the country. This is a model of what we want to see across the country, where we put actions and systems in place to support the emotional wellness of our students," said Secretary Cardona.
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