Supporting Student Mental Health

Health & Wellness Student Life Wellness Center
August 21, 2017

Denison University has announced that it has joined JED Campus, an initiative of The Jed Foundation (JED), a leading non-profit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. JED Campus is a comprehensive emotional wellness program providing colleges and universities with a framework for supporting their students, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports and ongoing technical assistance to help schools strengthen their mental health promotion and substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts. By joining JED Campus and partnering with JED, Denison demonstrates its commitment to supporting and protecting the emotional well-being of its students.

Laurel Kennedy, Denison’s Vice President for Student Development, said “Denison has a long-standing commitment to supporting students’ well-being in general, and their mental health, in particular. Our partnership with JED Campus is an example of our commitment. We are working to be a leader in the field to support our students’ emotional health.”

“The college years are the age when many mental health issues first arise, and it can be a time of significant stress and pressure,” said John MacPhee, JED’s Executive Director. “JED Campus works together with schools to survey everything they are doing to support their students’ emotional health, and find practical ways to augment these efforts. We believe that the implementation of a comprehensive, campus-wide approach to mental health and well-being will lead to safer, healthier communities, and likely greater student retention.”

Denison’s efforts in JED Campus will begin with the formation of an interdisciplinary, campus-wide team, which completed a self-assessment of the school’s policies, programs and systems based on the JED Campus framework. JED Campus clinicians then reviewed the assessment and provided Denison with a confidential feedback report identifying the school’s strengths, as well as opportunities for enhancements, culminating in a detailed strategic plan to address these opportunities. Over the course of four years, the JED Campus team will collaborate with Denison to help implement the strategic plan, providing ongoing, customized technical assistance, as well as connecting the school to the resources and mentorship of JED’s Learning Community, a nationwide network of JED Campuses that share advice and presentations on important topics that emerge from their work with JED. JED Campus grants a membership seal to all schools that participate in the program in recognition of the school’s commitment to student emotional well-being.

“Our cross-functional campus team has already begun its work,” reported Kennedy. “In fact, we’ve already created some initiatives in response to our partnership with JED Campus, including implementing additional training for student leaders and staff across the college, to equip them with the skills to identify and refer students in need. We’re excited about the developments over the next several years as we work to continually strengthen our support of students’ emotional well-being.”

About JED

JED is a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health.

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