The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

I Need H.E.L.P: Two Big Five Orgs host mental health event


A new semester has begun at N.C. A&T and organizations are coming together to find ways to support fellow students who may find this transition difficult.

Residence Hall Association (RHA) partnered up with the Council of Presidents to host a discussion about positive coping mechanisms for college students.

 The goal was to build a sense of community amongst students of all classifications.

“We wanted to reach the largest number of students,” stated Christian Stinson, junior marketing student. Stinson currently serves as RHA’s National Communications Chair as well as the organizer of the program.

Past mental health crises on campus served as a motivating factor for the presentation. 

“With so many things going on last semester, especially in housing, as a student leader we had to do something,” Stinson said.

“I N.E.E.D H.E.L.P” is an acronym that stands for

  • Honest Conversations
  • Experienced Professionals
  • Listening Ears
  • Positive Coping Methods

When entering the program, students selected colored sticky notes that match their current mood.

The event opened up with an icebreaker that consisted of a few yes or no questions about loneliness, self image and stress. This allowed participants to see that they are not alone in various struggles. 

Professional therapists sat down in small groups to speak with students about different trials faced at N.C. A&T.  

Conversations ranged from adjusting to the new spring semester, the social climate on campus and ways to communicate in relationships.

 Keisha Saunders, licensed professional counselor, offered a helpful tip to consider when engaging with other individuals using what is called the “8-38-54” method.

“Eight percent of what you say is words, 38 percent of what you say is tone and 54 percent of what you say is body language,” Saunders continued. “Methods like this can help students understand one another. This is important to know so you are able to communicate effectively.”

Students learned how to be a helping hand for peers who may simply need a listening ear. The five ways to be an effective listener are:

  • Stay engaged
  • Open body language 
  • Resist the urge to interrupt
  • Ask questions
  • Be an empathetic listener

Members of both organizations shared information regarding methods of dealing with stress and anxiety, which are common for college students. 

  • Take deep breaths 
  • Learn how to journal
  • Learn to meditate 
  • Cut out smoking and drinking

As the event came to a close, students received links to mental health resources such as on campus counselors at Murphy Hall, virtual 24/7 helplines and Guilford County mental health emergency resources. Representatives from Murphy Hall were in attendance to speak to students one-on-one about different services they offer and how to receive any help.

Students found the program to be beneficial.  Mateo Smith, electrical engineering junior, explained how the presentation allowed him to feel seen and not alone in his struggles. 

 “I really appreciate that they gave us a space to speak and be heard by professionals as well as a group of peers,” Smith said.

To stay updated on future events, make sure to follow Residence Hall Association and Council of Presidents on Instagram. 


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