"The Heels Network" a new student mental health resource, launches at UNC Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- UNC Chapel Hill leaders are making a way to address their student's mental health.

They've launched a new outlet called "The Heels Cares Network" for the college community to find resources and help.

When UNC faced tragedy last fall after a suicide and attempted suicide on campus leaders for the school took action by canceling classes and creating a wellness day. Several months later mental health is still at the forefront of students minds and some say those incidents opened their eyes.

"I think it was really enlightening in terms of university could do better to be able to support and what we can all do better to do that," said UNC junior Elizabeth Youssef.

Wednesday, leaders launched a new mental health resource online called "The Heels Care Network." It provides 24/7 help and resources for students and the community to use. This includes live chats with peer counselors, learning signs for depression, and other mental health challenges.

Vice Chancellor Amy Johnson says the events last fall played a hand in introducing this resource in hopes of supporting the growing number of needs college students have.

"Understanding what the campus resources are so that you can offer support someone else, understanding what the signs of potentially some depression or some mental health challenges might be, so that you can advise somebody. 'I'm concerned about you, have you thought about reaching out to a peer-to-peer counselor?' So that again, it reinforces that we all have a role to play recognizes that and gives you the tool to be able to do that," said Johnson.

"I think we are only learning more and more about how vital that is to people's success post college and just in general with life and I thinks it's important to continue to make that a priority," explained Youssef.

The site is active right now. The link can be found here
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