Name of Innovative Program:
The Jed Foundation
Name of Innovative Program Lead:
The Jed Foundation
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead:
Launched in June 2013, JedCampus is a voluntary program designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance their mental health and suicide prevention programming. To those schools with comprehensive programming, TJF awards a JedCampus seal recognizing the institution’s commitment to the emotional wellbeing of students. To participate, schools complete a confidential online questionnaire about their current mental health programming. TJF reviews the school’s programming and provides a feedback report and phone consultation with recommendations for enhancement. Campus professionals can use the feedback to inform an action plan for enriching mental health programming.As of December 2013, 135 colleges and universities – representing over 1,000,000 students – are participating in JedCampus, and 36 earned the seal. By publicly recognizing colleges with comprehensive mental health safety nets, JedCampus raises awareness among parents, campus professionals and the public about the essential value of integrating the education, growth and healthy emotional development of college students. In addition, JedCampus will increase the number of schools implementing comprehensive systems, which will result in the identification and care of more at-risk students. The result will be safer and healthier campuses, improved lives, and possibly better graduation rates.
Creativity and Innovation:
In the college mental health and suicide prevention field, JedCampus is truly innovative. No other program provides schools with a framework and third-party assessment and assistance for implementing and enhancing comprehensive campus-wide mental health programming. Additionally, JedCampus provides public recognition to schools with comprehensive programming which help families and students in the college selection process thereby creating an incentive for campus leaders to invest in mental health programming. JedCampus applies a public health approach to a campus community in a new and unique way that will ultimately affect the lives of the entire student body. Not only is JedCampus highly innovative, but it is also critically important: substance-related deaths and suicide are the two leading causes of death among college students, and nationwide, only 55% of 4-year school attendees graduate within 6 years, with the top impediments to academic performance including challenges such as depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse.
JedCampus raises awareness among parents, campus professionals, young adults and the general public about the essential value of integrating the education, growth and healthy emotional development of college students. By publicly identifying and celebrating schools (through press releases, social media, websites, etc.) with comprehensive programming through the seal, JedCampus introduces a positive pressure on higher education leaders to ensure that their schools are prioritizing mental health on campus. This in effect will create a new incentive system for schools and raise the importance of these issues on campus, which in turn will significantly increase the number of schools nationwide who are implementing comprehensive programming. Equally important, it will also provide valuable information to college applicants and their families, and make the presence of comprehensive mental health and substance abuse programming an important factor in the college selection process.
Beginning in early 2014, TJF joined forces with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative to expand JedCampus to include substance abuse (in particular, prescription drug abuse) programming, and the option of on-the-ground technical assistance to schools. The new program, entitled The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program (the Campus Program), is co-owned and operated by the two parties. In addition, the Campus Program includes a participation fee of $650 per school which helps provide funding to operate and sustain the program. Both TJF and CHMI are responsible for additional fundraising and securing new strategic partners to support the Campus Program. Lastly, as public awareness of the Campus Program grows, more and more schools will be incentivized to participate and improve their mental health programming.
The Campus Program facilitates the ability of colleges and universities to replicate comprehensive mental health and substance abuse programming at their individual schools. Over time, the program will help thousands of schools implement and enhance their on-campus programming. As more schools participate, TJF and CHMI will collect examples of successful programs and approaches, and will be able to disseminate this information across communities to bring these successes to scale. Information sharing will be conducted through the Program’s website as well as conferences and communications among participating schools. Additionally, the program has the potential to be adapted to other boundaried communities such as high schools, workplaces, accountable care organizations, towns, etc.
The objective of the Campus Program is safer, healthier students and campuses, as well as increased student retention and graduation ratesProgram effectiveness will be measured through:
- # Participating schools (target: 1,600 participants by 2017)
- # Seal recipients
- # Schools that do not receive the seal, implement improvements, and subsequently receive the seal at a later date
- # College applicants/families who report considering mental health services an important factor in their college selection process
- Reduction in substance abuse-related and suicide deaths on campuses over time, as well as non-fatal outcomes such as alcohol and substance-related incidents, mental health hospitalizations and suicide attempts.
- Improvement of student retention and graduation rates over time