The CAPS Multicultural Health Program centers the needs of Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color at Carolina with therapy and outreach. In this Q&A they share how they work to support Carolina students.
How long has MCHP been at Carolina and where are you located? The Multicultural Health Program (MCHP) was developed in the Summer of 2020 and is housed within Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which is a division of Campus Health. CAPS is located on the third floor of the James A. Taylor Building, the building that houses Campus Health, situated between Kenan Stadium and UNC Hospitals, just south of the Bell Tower Parking Deck.
How many staff are in MCHP and what are their various roles? MCHP currently consists of four staff members and we are actively seeking to add to our staff. Each staff member brings expertise in a variety of areas including adjustment issues, racial trauma, family of origin concerns, gender and sexuality, spirituality, and first generation/acculturation issues to name a few.
What does your department do to support students at Carolina? MCHP supports students of color at Carolina by providing individual therapy, group therapy, outreach engagements, workshops and staff/faculty consultation. We have also begun developing liaison relationships with campus departments and partnerships with student organizations.
What would you say to encourage students to contact your office? One of the goals of MCHP is to decrease stigma in communities of color and our staff are reflective of that commitment. Weare approachable,knowledgeable and open to meeting students where they are at. We encourage students to attend outreach events or workshops and connect to us that way or to simply walk into CAPS for an initial assessment and discuss getting connected to a MCHP provider.
How has your team adapted to provide service during COVID-19? Since we were developed during the global pandemic, we have always provided virtual services to our students. All of our services are currently virtual and all of our team meetings occur virtually as well. If a student group has an outreach request in-person, we work with them to find flexible solutions such as pre-recorded presentations and resources or a hybrid model which allows a MCHP team member to Zoom into the outreach project.We believe flexibility will be key to keeping students, particularly students of color, involved in treatment moving forward.
What is the one thing about your office you wish students knew? We want students to know that we are here to meet their needs and we are open to hearing about ways to better meet their needs. As an example, students of color approached MCHP about the possibility of creating a group for students who have difficult home/family lives. Through this advocacy the All in the Family group was created last semester and has been a wonderful addition to our groups program.
Starting in June, Dr. Alexis Leca and Markera Jones will be holding a Women of Color (WOC) Empowerment Group this summer. WOC Empowerment Group helps to provide a safe, supportive environment in which we can discuss our unique experiences. The group will focus on exploring various themes such as identity, relationships, self-worth and acceptance (love), discrimination, and more. The group will also seek to empower and strengthen students’ voices, facilitate understanding the meaning of these experiences, and foster relationship-building and community as a part of their UNC experience.
This group invites students who identify as women of color, and information disclosed in these meetings is considered confidential. Meetings will be held in-person at Campus Health on Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:30pm. UNC students do not need to pay the summer health fee to participate in CAPS groups.
If you are interested, please call CAPS at 919-966-3658 or email email@example.com.