Office of Wellness


Supporting the School of Law’s mission to cultivate competent and socially responsible legal professionals, the Office of Wellness believes that a healthy emotional life is fundamental to personal, academic, and professional success. Valuing individual strengths and differences, core values, and the developmental demands of legal study, our office provides compassionate, professional services supporting emotional balance and growth while encouraging individuals to reach their potential.

Our elective, free, and confidential services for NCCU law students include:

– Screening and assessment
– Individual counseling
– Referral services
– Consultation services (university and professional-exam disability accommodations, university and program exit/re-entry, academics, character and fitness issues, etc.)
– Health coaching
– Addictions counseling and recovery support
– Emergency response

We also offer mental health and wellness programming for the NCCU law community.


Comprehensive human wellness can be looked at in parts: social, academic, spiritual, physical, financial, and so forth. Our office believes that emotional wellness can be achieved through deepening our understanding of ourselves, embracing our emotions in constructive ways, and managing our life’s challenges with new or different approaches.

Our office is here to embrace each student’s own individual vision of wellness, identify avenues and alternatives, and provide support in each unique path of personal growth and fulfillment.

Screening & Assessment

Screening is a brief clinical interaction with the purpose of deciding whether professional help is indicated, along with “next steps.” Assessment is an in-depth, face-to-face process that focuses on what the therapy will look like when therapy is recommended. The clinician evaluates the student’s characteristics and concerns, explores psychosocial factors relating to presenting issues in comprehensive fashion, and works toward an individualized plan for treatment. Combinations of services and supports may be recommended— Office of Wellness, the University Counseling Center, resources within the School of Law or the campus community — and may make referrals to area providers and resources. Treatment options are considered with regard to each student’s unique needs.

Some ambivalence about making an initial appointment is normal. We encourage the help-seeking and self-discovery process for all of our law students.

Students may set up a non-urgent initial appointment by email or phone:, 919.530.5156.

For urgent concerns during normal hours (8-5:00 M-F), students should use our urgent-access number: 980.288.5288. For crisis response after 5:00pm and on weekends, students should access the counselor-on-call system through university police: 919.530.6106.

Individual Counseling

As part of a treatment plan, your counselor may recommend a course of individual counseling—a series of confidential, face-to-face meetings with a counseling professional focusing on issues related to the individual’s presenting concerns. Needs are periodically re-assessed in this process and treatment is adjusted accordingly.

Students choose to become involved with counseling for a range of issues or concerns. Attending professional school, it is common for individuals to develop difficulties for the first time in one’s life; likewise, it is common for difficulties in one’s history to re-emerge or for existing issues to exacerbate. No matter your circumstances, it can be helpful to speak with a counseling professional in a safe environment.

Our clinical counseling services are confidential, free, elective, and non-judgmental. In most cases, no formal “diagnosis” is entered into the confidential record.


In some cases, a student’s concerns may be beyond the scope of services provided. Alternately, some students prefer to receive services off-campus for varying reasons. The Office of Wellness is available to assist in connecting students to appropriate treatment providers—whether at the outset of therapy, after assessment, or in the course of treatment.


When a student’s well-being becomes a point of concern, our office is available to faculty, staff, friends, and family members for consultation. Consultation can be useful in mitigating confusion that surrounds mental health concerns, and it can be helpful in determining “what to do next.”

Students often seek professional consultation involving personal or professional matters that intersect with current or past mental health concerns: character and fitness issues, university and professional-exam accommodations, university and program exit/re-entry, academic requirements, etc.

Consultation for non-emergency situations may be accessed by phone (919.530.5156) or by other arrangements. Please note that, due to confidentiality, the Office of Wellness will not typically be able to share identifiable student information.

Health Coaching

 Change can be a challenge—motivational support and accountability can help. Health Coaching assists individuals in accessing resources and internal strengths to meet self-identified wellness goals. Appointments are brief and behaviorally-focused.

Recovery Support

Legal professionals experience elevated levels of substance-use and alcohol-use disorders. Stress, lifestyle, co-occurring mood issues, and the professional culture are possible factors. Some law students may begin to develop substance-use or alcohol-use issues for the first time during the course of their professional study. Others may be entering professional school after substance-use treatment in the past. Recovery can be a lifelong process.

Office of Wellness can assist in the journey of recovery. Please note, however, that we do not provide court-mandated alcohol or drug treatment—though we may be able to provide counseling required by the university or by professional practice boards. Our recovery-oriented services include:

  • Substance/Alcohol Use Disorder screening and assessment
  • Individual counseling
  • Area referrals: specialists, programs, support groups
  • Consultation

Learn more about substance-use issues and alcohol-use issues in legal practice.

Emergency Response

Students may set up a non-urgent assessment, consultation, or follow-up visit by phone or email. We make every effort to schedule students as quickly as possible, typically within a week of request.

For emergency consultation and response during daytime hours, students (or concerned parties) should use our urgent-access number: 980.288.5288.

For crisis response after 5:00pm, students should access the counselor-on-call system through university emergency services: 919.530.6106.

What constitutes a crisis? An affirmative response to any of these would indicate an emergency intervention:

  • Suicide thoughts, or thoughts about hurting oneself
  • Acute anxiety, and inability to calm oneself
  • Thoughts about hurting others
  • Out-of-control, confused, or disorganized thoughts
  • A recent traumatic event (sexual assault, physical assault, personal disaster)
  • Inability to take care of one’s basic needs
  • Acute drug or alcohol intoxication or withdrawal
  • Fear for personal safety (stalking, receiving threats, anticipating violence)

Programming, Education, and Outreach

The more we know, the better we are able to guide our lifestyles in ways that foster wellness. We acknowledge the intersections of mental health with the demands of professional school. With that perspective in mind, we offer wellness programming on a variety of topics for the NCCU law community. Students, faculty, or staff members can make a request by email with details to


Individual services through the Office of Wellness are strictly confidential. In fact, clients of our office have confidentiality rights protected by Federal and State Law, as well as professional codes of ethics. Specifically, NCGS § 8-53.8 protects confidentiality through counselor-client privilege—similar to that of attorney-client privilege. For our students, a few uncommon exceptions to confidentiality prevail. These would be in the event of 1) serious and foreseeable risk to self and others, 2) child or elder abuse or neglect, and 3) a court order. But commonly, for a variety of reasons, clients may request their counselor share or release information to a third party. In these cases, the scope and nature of information to be released is discussed, and permission is made in writing.

Disability Accommodations

In keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), (42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213 (amended 2008)), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, (29 U.S.C. § 794), the School of Law strives to create a community of equal accessibility for its students. In cases of learning disability, psychological disability, or physical disability, a student may be entitled to classroom or testing accommodations to correct disparities in accessibility. Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, appropriate to a student’s functional limitations, and supported by required documentation. Contact Student Accessibility Services for the disability-registration process.

The Office of Wellness is available for confidential consultation in disability-related matters. Many students have questions about how accommodations intersect with privacy, academics, professional examinations, or career considerations. We are also available to facilitate the process of discovery for those with invisible challenges,  and provide appropriate referrals for specialist evaluation.

Evening Program Students

Evening Program students qualify for all Office of Wellness services. Contact us for arrangements fitting your unique scheduling or modality needs.

University Counseling Center

The NCCU Counseling Center is staffed by psychologists and mental health professionals specializing in a variety of counseling and counseling-related services. Like the Office of Wellness, services are generally free and confidential. Counseling Center staff offer individual and group counseling, consultation, referral, outreach services, and is part of the university’s wrap-around crisis response. For a modest charge, medication evaluation and management is provided by psychiatry staff. For more, visit the Counseling Center.

NC Lawyer Assistance Program

The North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program offers free and confidential assistance with mental health issues, problems with chemical dependence or abuse, and other concerns that impede the ability to effectively practice professionally. Visit NCLAP for more information and to connect.

Resources & Self-Help

Student Health919.530.6317
Counseling Center919.530.7646
Student Accessibility Services919.530.6325
Office of Scholarships and Student Aid919.530.6180
Women’s Center (interpersonal violence, gender issues)919.530.6811
University Police919.530.6106
Campus Recreation and Wellness 
LGBTA Resource Center 
NCCU COVID-19 resources 


Emergency Communications911
Durham Recovery Response Center (crisis & assessment) 919.560.7305
Durham Crisis Response Center (interpersonal violence)919.403.6562
Planned Parenthood (birth control, STI testing)919.286.2872
Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC
Durham Area Transit
LGBTQ Center of Durham
Alcoholics Anonymous, Durham area
Legal Aid of NC, Durham office
North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program
City of Durham COVID updates


American Bar Association resources
ABA Black Lawyers in America toolkit
ABA Law Student Mental Health toolkit
Screening for Mental Health (various self-guided screenings)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline800.273.TALK
Veterans Crisis Line800.273.8255
RAINN (sexual assault hotline)800.656.HOPE
National Alliance on Mental Illness (helpline)800.950.6264
National Council on Problem Gambling (helpline)800.522.4700
Ulifeline (mental health resources & screening)
Jed Foundation (suicide awareness & prevention)
Mental Health is Health (awareness & advocacy)
HelpGuide (mental health & wellbeing)
National Institute of Mental Health (various topics)
American Psychological Association (various topics)
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Attention Deficit Disorder Association
International OCD Foundation
Social Anxiety Association
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQQ)
Co-Dependents Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Adult Children of Alcoholics
SMART Recovery
Moderation Management
Student Health919.530.6317
Counseling Center919.530.7646
Student Disability Services919.530.6325
Student Rights and Responsibilities919.530.7492
Office of Scholarships and Student Aid919.530.6180
Women’s Center (interpersonal violence, gender issues)919.530.6811
University Police919.530.6106
Campus Recreation and Wellness
LGBTA Resource Center


Emergency Communications911
Durham Recovery Response Center (mental health crisis & assessment)800.510.9132
Durham Crisis Response Center (interpersonal violence)919.403.6562
Planned Parenthood (birth control, STI testing)919.286.2872
Veterans Affairs919.286.0411
Durham Police (non-emergency)919.560.4600
Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC
Go Durham (Durham & Triangle area transit)
LGBTQ Center of Durham
Alcoholics Anonymous, Durham area
Narcotics Anonymous, Durham area
Legal Aid of NC, Durham office


Wellness Lounge

Taking a moment to regroup can be a simple act of self-wellness. Stop by the terrace airlock area (first floor, south-facing side of building) for massage chairs, light jazz, and an internal shift.


#134 (SW corner of first-floor faculty area)
Phone: 919.530.5156
Daytime emergencies: 980.288.5288
After-hours crisis: 919.530.6106

Brett Bowers, LCMHCS, LCAS, NCC, MAC
Director of Wellness

Brett Bowers, LCMHCS, LCAS, NCC, MAC is a licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor, licensed clinical addictions specialist, and certified health coach with a background in university counseling center practice. As a mental health generalist, he works with a broad scope of clinical concerns. Honoring differences, he adapts counseling and treatment to fit unique individual needs. Profile.Office of Wellness offers clinical training experiences (when available) to candidates in CACREP-approved counseling programs. Contact us about Counseling Practicum & Internship in University-Professional-School Practice.

Office of Wellness

Legal Clinic (First Floor), Room 134
Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Walk-in: 8:30 – 9:00am – 1:30 – 2:00pm
Phone: 919.530.5156

Daytime emergencies: 980.288.5288
After-hours crisis: 919.530.6106

Brett Bowers, LPCS, LCAS, NCC, MAC
Email: | Profile