The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 6th

Gallery: Dogs and moms offer support, embrace UNC community

<p><strong>Content warning:</strong> The text below contains mention of suicide.</p>
<p>Lauren McRae, a graduate student, plays with Hunter, a graduated service dog from Eyes Ears Nose and Paws. EENP is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs to partner with people who have disabilities. On Wednesday, they brought several dogs and volunteers to the quad to play with students and offer support as the campus community grapples with student deaths this semester.</p>
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Content warning: The text below contains mention of suicide.

Lauren McRae, a graduate student, plays with Hunter, a graduated service dog from Eyes Ears Nose and Paws. EENP is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs to partner with people who have disabilities. On Wednesday, they brought several dogs and volunteers to the quad to play with students and offer support as the campus community grapples with student deaths this semester.

Content warning: The text below contains mention of suicide.

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Dogs and moms came to UNC this week in an effort to improve student and community mental health following reports of a suicide and an attempted suicide over the weekend, according to the UNC Police crime log. In a campus email Sunday, the University acknowledged two student deaths in the past month.

Community members and students gathered to support one another across campus.

Volunteers and dogs from Eyes Ears Nose and Paws, a local non-profit dedicated to partnering people with dogs to improve lives, visited the quad on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

A Facebook post from EENP about the event invited students to stop by “if you need some snuggles, company, or a puppy kiss.” 

"This is such a nice event because one of the hardest parts of college is missing my dogs back home," first-year Katie Pelikan said.

"We hoped that this would help those who are feeling so sad," EENP trainer and volunteer Wendy Weber said.

On Thursday, the Facebook group UNC-CH Parents Helping Parents organized a parent rally behind the Old Well. UNC moms gathered to offer students free candy, baked goods and hugs.

Corinna Collins, Kayden Hunt and Anna Connors contributed reporting.


Mental health resources

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, is available 24/7. It is free and confidential.

UNC students who need assistance during this time may contact Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of the Dean of Students or Student Wellness. CAPS can be reached 24/7 by phone at 919-966-3658. University employees can reach out to the Employee Assistance Program.

Peer supporters from student-run organization Peer2Peer, which offers mental health resources for graduate and undergraduate students, can be reached through their online form. Students can remain anonymous.

The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board has compiled a list of mental health resources for the Chapel Hill community, which can be found here.

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