The Jed Foundation Announces Partnership with the Clinton Foundation to Support Health and Safety of College Students
January 14, 2014
To help prevent the two leading causes of death in young adults[i],— unintentional injuries, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning, and suicide—The Jed Foundation and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), today announced a joint program, The Jed and Clinton Foundation Health Matters Campus Program (Campus Program), to help colleges and universities create healthier and safer campus environments. This announcement was made at CHMI’s third annual Health Matters conference.
According to the most recent data available[ii], there are about 21 million people enrolled in post-secondary institutions in the United States. In 2013, the American College Health Association–National College Health Assessment found that more than half of college students experienced “overwhelming anxiety” at some point in the past year and about 32 percent reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” and eight percent reported seriously considering suicide [iii].
Additionally, alcohol and substance abuse are major issues on college campuses. A report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found half of all full-time college students (3.8 million) binge drink, abuse prescription drugs and/or illegal drugs, and almost 1 in 4 of the nation’s college students (22.9%) meet the medical criteria for substance abuse or dependence [iv].
The college years are the age when many mental health issues first manifest, and it can be a time of significant stress and pressure,” said John MacPhee, Executive Director of The Jed Foundation. “The Jed and Clinton Foundation Health Matters Campus Program helps schools by providing a framework for how they can support student emotional well-being and mental health in a comprehensive way, and helping those schools develop an action plan to make it happen.”
The Campus Program is designed to help colleges and universities promote emotional wellbeing and mental health programming, reduce substance abuse, and prevent suicide among 18-to-26 year-olds. The Campus Program expands upon The Jed Foundation’s JedCampus program, a groundbreaking self-assessment and feedback program that helps colleges create more comprehensive solutions to support their students.
To participate in the Campus Program, schools take a confidential, online self-assessment about their current mental health, suicide prevention, and substance abuse programming. Upon completion, the school’s responses are compared to recommended practices developed by national experts in college mental health and substance abuse prevention. Then, The Jed Foundation and CHMI provide a confidential feedback report and phone consultation with practical recommendations for enhancement.
Schools that demonstrate comprehensive programming are recognized with a Jed and Clinton Foundation Health Matters Campus Program seal. The seal represents a school’s commitment to student mental health and substance abuse prevention and showcases that the school employs a comprehensive, campus-wide approach to mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming. Schools that do not receive the seal will be confidential. In the future, through the Campus Program, experts will be available to offer temporary, on-the-ground support and technical assistance to colleges and universities.
Today, mtvU’s Half of Us campaign and Facebook also announced partnerships with The Jed Foundation and the Clinton Foundation to help prevent prescription drug misuse among college students (mtvU) and to help college students identify potential warning signs that a friend is in emotional distress and may need help (Facebook).
The Jed and Clinton Foundation Health Matters Campus Program is co-owned and administered by The Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students, and CHMI, which works to reduce the prevalence of preventable health outcomes, close health inequity and disparity gaps, and reduce health care costs by improving access to key contributors to health for all people.