Nov. 1 is now a wellness day, no classes

Dear Students,

As we pass the halfway point of the fall semester, I want to acknowledge that while this is an exciting and fulfilling time of performance, training and learning, it can also be stressful. You are juggling late-night rehearsals, intense physical activity, long shop hours, complicated film shoots and rigorous academic classes, as well as balancing life and personal challenges as you work to become your best selves. Over the past month, faculty and staff have continued to hear from students experiencing significant difficulty managing these activities. Your well-being is a top priority for me and our faculty and staff. In recognition of this, we are implementing a few new measures to better support our community’s mental health.

Nov. 1 is now a wellness day
To start, Tuesday, Nov. 1, is now designated as a wellness day. There will be no classes or rehearsals on this day. Instead, planned activities and free time will be dedicated to help you focus on self-care. Two additional wellness days will be announced for the spring semester. 

Increasing resources in student Counseling Services
I am aware that the need for Counseling Services is high, and I am committed to expanding those resources for students. We are in the process of hiring an additional counselor who should start this spring, and we are also actively exploring partnerships that could provide additional capacity as needed. 

Current after-hours counseling and health services resources
In the meantime, there are many additional options for you to use:

  • Speak to a licensed counselor through UNCSA Counseling after hours and on the weekends by calling 855-726-1497. (Students under 18 must contact their Community Coordinator or a Residence Life staff member for support in making this call.)
  • Access after-hours (after 5 p.m., weekends, and holidays) non-emergency health care advice by calling 1-888-267-3675.
  • If you need immediate help, Counseling Services reserves appointments daily for students in crisis. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. 
  • Additional counseling services are available through Family Services of Forsyth County at 336-723-4357. And mental health professionals are available through the Novant Health and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist systems. Contact Counseling Services for financial assistance with off-campus counseling. 

These are just a few steps we are taking now to give you time to focus on your mental health. To address long-term planning, we established a steering committee for the Health and Wellness core strategy of our 2022-27 Strategic Plan, which is being led by Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Tracey Ford, Ed.D., Dean of the High School Academic Program Martin Ferrell, Dean of Drama Scott Zigler, Chief of Police Frank Brinkley, and Chief Human Resources Officer Angela Mahoney. This group is coordinating efforts to implement a robust health and wellness program for UNCSA.

Nothing is more inspiring to me than the creative work produced by the people of this institution. However, it should not be at the expense of health and well-being. As we continue to address ways to improve campus wellness, I ask that you make it a priority to take care of yourself and others.


Brian Cole

October 21, 2022