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We support Tar Heels’ well-being, inside and outside the classroom.  As a part of your Carolina experience, we understand that you may need to balance your academic studies with observations of your religious practices and beliefs.

Again this year, our academic calendar overlaps with a number of religious holidays. The Provost’s office regularly reminds faculty about these holidays, requesting flexibility regarding class attendance and deadlines that coincide with religious observances.

To help you navigate your studies and your observations of your religious practices and beliefs, we offer a religious accommodations request process.  As a first step, simply complete the Religious Accommodation Request Form and send it to the Religious Accommodations Advisory Committee (RAAC) at religiousaccommodations@unc.edu. We hope these resources help support your academic success and your overall well-being.  If you have questions about the policy or the process for requesting religious accommodations, you may reach out to the RAAC at religiousaccommodations@unc.edu or to the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).

We want all Tar Heels to succeed and thrive while they are at UNC-Chapel Hill, and that starts with ensuring our graduate and undergraduate students have access to mental health resources.

Carolina offers on-campus services and partners with well-being and mental health leaders, such as the JED Foundation, which focuses on the mental health of teens and young adults, to help serve the campus community.

“We want our students to know that all of us are here to support them. If a student needs a helping hand, they can reach out to our Dean of Students team, an RA if they are living on campus, or any member of our faculty and staff. And of course, our counselors at CAPS are available to support 24/7,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson.

The University launched the Heels Care Network last spring to provide a hub for mental health and well-being resources for the entire Carolina community. At care.unc.edu, Tar Heels can find information on 24/7 support, resources about suicide prevention and peer support, well-being programs and events, a live chat to talk with other students to find help and an anonymous care referral form that anyone can use to report concerns they have about a student. The website includes a comprehensive, searchable and filterable database of mental health and well-being resources.

Learn more at unc.edu.

Whether this is your first semester at Carolina or your last, our Carolina community is geared up and ready to support your experience on campus. Vice Chancellor Amy Johnson shares these words of encouragement for every Tar Heel to make your Heel Print at Carolina this year! Go Heels!

Congratulations on successfully making it to the end of another academic year! As you plan for a fun and festive LDOC (Last Day of Classes), remember to take good care of yourself and your community. There are a number of fun activities planned throughout the day and into the evening. From carnival games to a movie night, check out the LDOC web page for an array of events and join us for games, food and giveaways.

LDOC Safety

No matter how you plan to spend your LDOC, here are some tips for staying safe and supporting the well-being of all Tar Heels:

  • Make a plan. Talk with your friends about getting to and from events safely and how to look out for one another. (Read this Healthy Heels blog post with other ideas for LDOC safety and planning.)
  • Drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • If you or your friends will be drinking alcohol, have a conversation about ways to reduce your risk.
  • If you see someone who is not OK, seek help. Call 9-1-1. Learn more about campus safety resources and services on campus at safe.unc.edu.
  • Remember that we are part of a larger community, so please be respectful of our neighbors in the Town of Chapel Hill and beyond.

Take Care of Yourself During Exams

Finish your semester strong! Here’s a checklist with a few key strategies to manage your stress:

  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Are you taking study (and screen) breaks?
  • Are you remembering to fuel yourself?
  • Are you being kind to yourself and others?

The Healthy Heels team shares more advice for staying grounded and in a good headspace during exams on their Healthy Heels blog.

If you think your stress is becoming unmanageable, please seek help. All students (including graduate and professional students and post-docs) can connect with our various University support resources, including Counseling and Psychological Services, the Dean of Students team and Student Wellness. For a comprehensive list of mental health and well-being resources visit the Heels Care Network website.

Take time to celebrate your successes and accomplishments these last couple of days of the semester — and remember to rest, recenter and recharge when you need it.

This spring semester, our academic calendar overlaps with a number of religious holidays, including Ramadan, Passover, Good Friday and Easter, and Ridván.

We understand that you may need to balance your religious observation with your class attendance and academic studies. We encourage you to learn more about Carolina’s religious accommodations request process and, if needed, to complete the Religious Accommodation Request Form and send it to the Religious Accommodations Advisory Committee (RAAC) at religiousaccommodations@unc.edu for consideration.

The Provost’s office has reminded faculty about these holidays, requesting flexibility regarding attendance and deadlines that coincide with religious observances.

We share this information in the hopes that it helps support both your academic pursuits and the observance of your faith.

If you have questions about the policy or the process for requesting accommodations, you may reach out to the RAAC at religiousaccommodations@unc.edu or to the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).

Note: This message was sent to all students from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson on March 24, 2022.

New website to serve as central hub for mental health and well-being resources for campus community. 

On Feb. 9, 2022, UNC-Chapel Hill launched the Heels Care Network website at care.unc.edu, which Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz first announced was in development in October 2021. The website will serve as a hub for mental health and well-being resources available to Carolina students, staff and faculty, including links to 24/7 support and suicide prevention resources. It also features a live chat and a link to an anonymous care referral form for anyone to report concerns they have for a student.  

“The Heels Care Network is a campus-wide collaboration that truly embodies our goal of creating a culture of care and compassion at Carolina,” said Guskiewicz in his October announcement. “It is designed to help students, families, staff - anyone - find the resources they need to support their mental health and overall wellbeing.”  

The central feature of the website is a comprehensive searchable and filterable database of mental health resources to support all members of the campus community — students, family, staff and faculty. 

“What we consistently hear from students, parents and our campus partners is that there is a real desire to access mental health and well-being resources in addition to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS),” said Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Amy Johnson. “There are many avenues to find the right support, and our hope is that the Heels Care Network coordinates the numerous resources from across campus into one easy-to-navigate website.” 

The Heels Care Network website is supported by multiple campus partners to make sure the most timely and relevant resources and information are available to the campus community. The student peer supporters group LSN (Listen, Support, Navigate; pronounced “listen”), created by Peers for Progress, contributed to the site and will respond to the live chat.  

To request more information or to offer additions to the mental health resources, organizations or educational content, you can provide feedback at care.unc.edu.  

For Carolina students who find themselves in the Chapel Hill area for some part or all of winter break, there is still plenty to do. It’s important to note that on-campus service hours may be limited, so check out this list of openings and services during the break.

If you are looking for some campus-sponsored fun over break, CUAB is hosting two virtual events, so students near and far can join! And don’t forget to check Heel Life as more events may be added.

UNC International Student and Scholar Services have a great list of resources and programs on their Winter Break page, including an eye-popping list of local seasonal events – from winter markets to Santa visits to cookie decorating.

Every year, the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau posts their 2021 Holiday Happenings in Orange County, NC, and this year the list includes a “winter wonderland with goats!”

For students looking for holiday religious services, check out this helpful guide to local houses of worship.  

Don’t forget to keep moving! Get your heart rate up by trying out the Carolina North Forest, or the Botanical Gardens near campus. Campus Rec has a number of virtual on-demand fitness classes, from pilates to dance, on their website.

This seasonal whirlwind can also bring up challenges such as stress, loneliness, anxiety and depression. With some slight shifts in your behavior, you may be able to minimize your stress, while creating a supportive environment that centers on wellbeing. Our UNC Healthy Heels blog shares two timely articles with tips that may help relieve some of that holiday stress:

  • Managing Wellbeing during the Holidays, written by Written by Assistant Director of Student Wellness Charla Blumell, with helpful info from the Mayo Clinic and the CDC, includes simple steps everyone can take to help promote self-care during the break.
  • Financial Wellness in the Holiday Season, offers practical tips to prioritize financial wellness, which involves setting and achieving both long and short-term personal financial goals.

Looking for Health Care or Mental Health Support?

CAPS 24-7:  Call 919-966-2281 (Campus Health line) or 919-966-3658 (direct CAPS number) to speak to a mental health professional.

While Campus Health is closed, students may access UNC Urgent Care located at 6013 Farrington Road.  Students may also call Campus Health at 919-966-2281 and be connected to a Health Link nurse to discuss their non-emergent health concerns with them.

For those Tar Heel students who find themselves sticking around campus this Thanksgiving, Carolina is offering a number of helpful resources. From turkey to trail hiking, we've got ideas to keep students fed and happy.  

Where to Eat 

Students remaining in Chapel Hill for the holidays are invited to pick up a complimentary, traditional Thanksgiving meal provided by generous donations of The Carolina Club Members. Numbers are limited, and it is first come, first served. Meal registration is required by no later than Nov. 18.  

For those students who are interested in heading off campus for a meal on Thanksgiving, the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau compiled this handy list of Restaurants open in Orange County on Thanksgiving. 

Carolina Dining Services will post their Thanksgiving Break hours of operation for various dining locations online

New Student & Family Programs and the WOW Board are hosting Transfer-giving, a meal and community event for Transfer Students, on Nov. 22, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. Special food and beverages provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit the Heel Life event for more details.

Carolina Cupboard is an on-campus food pantry that provides food at no cost to students who are facing food insecurity. Although they will be closed Nov. 22-26, they are offering pre-packaged bags for pick up the week of Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Avery Residence Hall. Students can email carolinacupboard@gmail.com to arrange a pickup day and time. 

For students interested in other resources to address food insecurity, the UNC Writing and Learning Center shares a blog post: How I Dealt with Food Insecurity on Campus

What to Do 

Students can get cozy and curl up with a couple of good movies:  

  • Carolina Away and CUAB are hosting a Thanksgiving movie night Nov. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. Pizza and drinks are available, and you can enter for a chance to win Men’s Basketball tickets. 
  • CUAB is hosting a virtual movie screening of “Cruella,” on Sunday, Nov. 28. 

Students can get their blood pumping and enjoy the crisp fall weather and colorful foliage: 

  • Exercise is Medicine hosts a wellness walk on Tuesday, Nov. 22 (and every Tuesday!).  
  • Carolina and the surrounding area offer many opportunities for nature walks and hikes. Our Healthy Heels blog outlines many ways students can get outside and explore nature around UNC-Chapel Hill. 

For those students who enjoy football as a Thanksgiving tradition, the Tar Heels will take on the Wolfpack on Friday, Nov. 26 (7 p.m. TV: ABC or ESPN; Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network). Go Heels! 

Getting Around

For our students looking for a ride home or who just need to get out and about, UNC Transportation and Parking shares transit and travel options on their website.

On-Campus Residents

Carolina Housing provided our residential students with resources and information that will help them enjoy campus over Thanksgiving Break.

Looking for Health Care or Mental Health Support?

CAPS 24-7:  Call 919-966-2281 (Campus Health line) or 919-966-3658 (direct CAPS number) to speak to a mental health professional.

While Campus Health is closed, students may access UNC Urgent Care located at 6013 Farrington Road.  Students may also call Campus Health at 919-966-2281 and be connected to a Health Link nurse to discuss their non-emergent health concerns with them.

Be Grateful!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful reminder to pause and take time to think about what we are thankful for. This Healthy Heels blog post discusses how gratitude can do amazing things for our health.

The Carolina Veterans Resource Center (CVRC) has planned a week of campus events to honor Veterans Day, Nov. 11. From a Football game tailgate to a Veterans Day ceremony with the ROTC, the CVRC has collaborated with partners from across campus to engage our veterans and military affiliated students.

Recent events regarding American military operations in Afghanistan are affecting our military-connected community. The Carolina Veterans Resource Center (CVRC) has been working with military-connected students to provide support on this matter. We write to share information and resources that you may find useful in providing guidance and support.  

Our military-connected students may exhibit a number of stress-related behaviors that could signal a need for additional support and resources:

  • Frustration, sadness, helplessness, grief or distress
  • Anger or feelings of betrayal
  • Changes in mental health, such as symptoms of PTSD, depression or anxiety
  • Lack of sleep
  • Increase in substance use/abuse
  • Social avoidance or aversion to media

Military-connected students may not feel comfortable or ready to share their experiences in the context of a classroom discussion. If a student appears to need a break from class, please consider offering them flexibility in terms of attendance or participation, as appropriate. 

It can be helpful to encourage veterans to understand that feelings of distress are a normal reaction, and they should not try to avoid or repress them. Often, these feelings will naturally run their course. If they continue without easing up, or if a military-connected student appears overwhelmed, please connect them with the Carolina Veterans Resource Center (CVRC), the Dean of Students staff, or Counseling and Psychological Services—or submit a Care Referral directly through the Dean of Students website. 

We encourage you to learn more about this student community by reaching out directly to the CVRC and/or participating in an upcoming Green Zone training. The Green Zone program educates participants about the experience of our veterans and military-connected students and how to support them inside and outside the classroom.

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Support Resources for Student Veterans and Military-Connected Students

  • Veterans Crisis Line: 800- 273-8255 (press 1)
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