ECU speaks out on mental health resources available to students

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Student counseling appointments are on the rise at East Carolina University.

This comes with news from a faculty meeting this week where 9 On Your Side learned of four student deaths since the beginning of the semester.

Additionally, since the beginning of the semester, the counseling center at ECU has seen a 17% increase in students they’ve met with and a 10% increase in overall appointments.

Valerie Kisler-Van Reede, the Director of the Center for Counseling Institute and Development at ECU believes this could be because students are more comfortable seeking help recently. 

Most importantly the university wants its students to know about the different resources available to them.

“We want them to know about the counseling center, about the dean of students office, about our student health, you know what we want them to know about campus rec and wellness where they can go and let off some steam in a very productive kind of way,” says Dr. Virginia Hardy, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Four deaths in one semester have students and faculty concerned.

The university is speaking out in hopes to let students know they are not alone and they are there to fully support their needs. 

The main goal at ECU is to help students find healthy coping mechanisms that go beyond just counseling but they also are encouraging students to join organizations and get involved with on-campus activities.

Their resources range from counseling services, small groups, and individual therapy.

Assistant professor Janeé Avent Harris believes mental health needs to be more openly discussed to students before they get to college.

“The more we can talk about counseling before students get to college so in high school in their 12-k experience, how do we prepare students for the emotional aspect of college,” she says.

Doctor Hardy shares that the university also has a grief support group if anyone is suffering the loss of someone they know. 

If you would like to contact the Counseling Center you can access their website here or call (252) 328-6661.

Additionally, ECU CARES offers assistance to distressed individuals, connecting them to appropriate campus resources, and reporting concerning behavior to professionals on campus. 

On their website, you can view on- and off-campus resources, how they are here for you, and how to utilize them.

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