Media Kits

Carolina Experts Available to Discuss Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

For ongoing coverage of this important issue, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty and physicians are available to discuss with media issues related to mental health, suicide prevention and well-being among youth and young adults.

Campus features from the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on November 10, 2020. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Many adults are struggling with stress, anxiety and mental illness, and these issues are compounded by the pandemic. Mental health concerns make it even harder to manage the already significant challenges of being a college student.  

For your ongoing coverage of this important issue, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty and physicians are available to discuss with media issues related to mental health, suicide prevention and well-being among youth and young adults.  

These experts from the School of Medicine, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Social Work and UNC Health are committed to patient care and dedicated to mental health research. They can provide information about mental heath first aid,  suicide prevention, warning signs of suicidal ideation, how to keep those in mental health crisis safe, impact of the pandemic on depression and anxiety among college students and a rise in black youth suicide.

If you’d like to speak with an expert, call 919-445-8555 or email 

For questions about ongoing investigations or incidents on Carolina’s campus, please email  

Samantha Meltzer-Brody is chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and directs the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. She champions the Taking Care of our Own Program at the UNC School of Medicine that promotes well being among medical students.  

She is also an advisor to University leaders as they address the current mental health needs for the campus community. She and the department of psychiatry are assisting with several Community Support Centers for students, faculty and staff across campus and she will also be leading a University-wide mental health summit. 

Tara Bohley is a clinical assistant professor and the director of Behavioral Health Springboard (BHS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She oversees the UNC-Chapel Hill Mental Health First Aid activities and can discuss the basic skills needed to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis, respond to substance use disorders, and identify professional resources that can provide additional care

Through funding from SAMHSA’s Garret Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Program, UNC School of Social Work is able to offer MHFA workshops at no charge to UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff, and students. Registration is open for new sessions this fall.

Jane Cooley Fruewirth is an economist at UNC-Chapel Hill who delves into the determinants of mental health among adolescents and college students. Her research has focused on the mental health toll of the COVID-19 pandemic and she can discuss the steep rise in depression and anxiety among first-year college students.  

“Even prior to the pandemic, colleges were struggling to find ways to deal with a growing mental health crisis on their campuses,” Fruehwirth said. “Now with all the pressures of the pandemic, resources are even tighter, yet the mental health needs of students are growing.”  

Adam Bryant Miller is a clinical psychologist and suicide researcher in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience in the College of Arts & Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill. He can discuss child and adolescent mental health and how adolescents process emotion. Bryant has also researched a rise in Black youth suicide rates and what can be done to address prevention. 

“Black youth suicide is on the rise, but our effort to understand the why and how is not keeping pace,” said Bryant, emphasizing research and action of suicide prevention among Black youth must start from the ground up and include culturally relevant risk factors.  

Mitch Prinstein is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UNC-Chapel Hill and chief science officer of the American Psychological Association. He researches adolescent peer relationships and the stress responses directly related to suicide attempts in adolescent girls. He can discuss the psychological processes that put teens at risk for suicide.  

Angela Strain is chief of the psychiatric emergency at UNC Health who can describe the rise in kids and teens seeking psychiatric care for depression and suicidal thinking. She can discuss signs of mental health crisis and how to keep those in crisis safe.