The Department of Microbiology and Immunology recognizes that professional life can include high levels of stress and pressure for students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. The following links provide important resources and additional support to assist in managing these added stressors. These resources are not only meant to be used in times of crisis, but also to offer a safe space when needed. We will continue to update these resources, but if you feel there is something missing from this list, please contact our Student Services Specialist, Michelle Hightower, at michelle_hightower@med.unc.edu.

Quick Reference Guides

Services/Offices at UNC

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): https://caps.unc.edu/
    • First time visits do not need to schedule an appointment and can simply walk in to CAPS during the following days and times:
      • Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
      • Friday 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 1:00-4:00 p.m.
      • Urgent Needs: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
    • CAPS is located in the James A. Taylor Building on the 3rd floor. This building is between Kenan Stadium and the Hospitals, off of Emergency Room Drive. For specific directions from multiple campus locations, see this website: https://caps.unc.edu/about-us/contact-us
      • If you know someone in need of CAPS, it is helpful to walk with them to this office. This will not only ensure they reach their destination, but can also help reduce any potential anxiety they may have.
    • Initial assessments, brief therapy (if warranted by initial assessment), group therapy, referral management, academic intervention are covered by the health fee and available with no out of pocket cost to eligible students, post-doctoral fellows and partners.
  • Student Wellness Coaches for School of Medicine students: https://www.med.unc.edu/wellness/appointments/
    • Allison (Alli) Schad, Director of Wellness for UNC School of Medicine and Student Wellness Coach
      • Alli is a licensed social worker and provides one-on-one counseling to PhD students at the School of Medicine. To schedule an appointment with Alli, click here. Alli also monitors the wellness of biomedical PhD students and leads Wellness Programming for BBSP students.
  • Office of the Dean of Students: https://odos.unc.edu/student-support
    • The Office of the Dean of Students is committed to providing essential education, programs and services to support students’ academic, personal and professional development.  Our staff works with faculty, staff, and students across campus, as well as with parents, town leaders and community members to reach this goal.
  • University Ombuds Office: https://ombuds.unc.edu/
    • The University Ombuds Office is a safe place where all Carolina staff, faculty, students and administrators are welcome to come and talk in confidence about any campus issue, problem, or dispute. Our office supplements, but does not replace, the University’s formal channels, such as the grievance policy. Contact us as a first step, or as a last resort, or anywhere along the way. Come and share your concerns, evaluate your situation, and plan your next step—if you want to take a next step. Use of our services is voluntary and free. Visitors will find our office a safe place to discuss their concerns, no matter how large or small.
    • Ombuds Brochure
  • Safe at UNC: https://safe.unc.edu/
    • This website is the main portal for students, faculty, staff, and visitors at UNC- Chapel Hill to obtain information about prevention and help regarding issues of discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, interpersonal violence, and stalking.
  • Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office: https://eoc.unc.edu/
    • At Carolina, every member of our campus community is entitled to live, learn, and work in an environment that is inclusive and welcoming. If ever you find that certain events or experiences have unfairly affected your academic or professional success, we’re here to help.
  • Accessibility Resources and Services (ARS): https://ars.unc.edu/
    • Through ARS, The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill seeks to meet the individual needs of applicants and current students with disabilities and medical conditions by coordinating and implementing appropriate accommodations and providing resources and services as they relate to academics, residences, dining and co and extra-curricular campus activities.
    • ARS also functions as a source of information, educational outreach and advice, as well as a communication link among individuals with disabilities, faculty and staff, outside agencies, and the community at large.
  • Student Wellness: https://studentwellness.unc.edu/
    • Student Wellness is a health education and health promotion office whose work is rooted in Public Health science, with a focus on environmental change strategies.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (Available to permanent UNC employees and their dependents, including postdocs): https://hr.unc.edu/benefits/work-life/eap/
    • From financial pressures to workplace stress and family issues, life can be challenging. If you need help, the UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available. The EAP is a confidential counseling and resource program that is designed to help University employees and their families deal with both personal and work-related concerns.

Training Opportunities (Open to Students, Postdocs, Faculty, and Staff)

  • Mental Health First Aid Training: http://ssw.unc.edu/sswevents/mhfa-training
    • Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training that will give students, staff, and faculty the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as CPR training helps a layperson without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • HAVEN (Helping Advocates for Violence Ending Now) Training: https://womenscenter.unc.edu/programs/haven-training/
    • HAVEN (Helping Advocates for Violence Ending Now) is a collaboration between the Equal Opportunity & Compliance Office, the Carolina Women’s Center, the Office of the Dean of Students, and Student Wellness. It provides students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows with tools to be an ally to someone who has experienced sexual or interpersonal (relationship) violence or stalking. The three-hour training emphasizes the importance of listening, responding compassionately, and connecting survivors to resources on campus and in the community.

Student Groups/Organizations

  • PhD Balance: https://phdbalance.com/
    • This organization was founded by current Microbiology and Immunology student, Susanna Harris.
    • You can be productive in academia, work on and complete a graduate degree, AND struggle with your mental health. Our mission at PhD Balance is to provide honest stories from people like you and curate resources with advice about strategies, yoga, mindfulness, and more.
  • Carolina Recovery Program: https://studentwellness.unc.edu/programs/alcohol-drug-programs/carolina-recovery-program
    • To encourage a community that supports continued recovery, academic excellence, and a commitment to serving the greater UNC community. The Carolina Recovery Program provides each student a customized success plan, staff and peer support, and proactive recovery focused programming. Their goal is to enable students to enjoy a normal substance-free collegiate experience while excelling at UNC-CH. They believe this recovery program experience will reconnect emerging leaders with their passion to make a difference in the world.
  • Stigma Free Carolina: http://stigmafree.unc.edu/
    • Stigma Free Carolina is a UNC community campaign aimed at reducing stigma toward mental health concerns and treatment. By accurately defining mental health, educating the community, and dispelling negative or false beliefs about mental health and its treatment we can help everyone be their best selves and reach their full potential.