Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism
As an organization that is recognized as a thought leader in the areas of mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention, we recognize that we need to stay current and responsive to diverse communities. We are intentional about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism by being proactively inclusive in our approach and our strategic planning.
We believe everyone should have access to resources and care in ways that are mindful of diverse perspectives, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual identities, abilities, and more. We also recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach to promoting positive mental health and preventing suicide is ineffective and culturally insensitive, and ignores the impact of racial trauma on well-being.
Mental health is significantly impacted by our unique perspectives, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual identities, faith traditions, and dis/abilities. Feeling understood, accepted, and supported is an important protective factor for our mental health, while discrimination, stigma, and mistreatment can contribute to emotional struggles.
Elements of Our Shared Commitment
Given that structural and systemic racism and the discrimination and oppression that are perpetuated through those systems result in negative mental health outcomes, it is our charge to continue to strengthen our approaches and programs to bring equity to mental health and suicide prevention. We will help schools address how marginalization, bias, discrimination, and systemic racism show up in schools negatively impacting student mental health, and to continually strengthen JED as an organization committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.
We strive to recruit, hire, and retain the best and most talented individuals possible. We are mindful and aware that teens and young adults we serve are diverse in all respects (including race, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, military service, and perspectives) and we will work towards having staff and consultants who reflect this diversity. We believe that a diverse team that represents the diversity of youth in the U.S. will result in a stronger organization that is better equipped to achieve our mission, and that staff members of all backgrounds who are provided the appropriate training and support can be successful and will produce excellent work in support of our mission.
We strive to create an equitable and inclusive environment that is respectful and collaborative and encourages the representation of all groups and staff perspectives. We recognize that bringing together a diverse group of professionals brings various viewpoints and perspectives. We work under a belief that multiple perspectives, debate, and dialogue are helpful for finding the best outcomes to serve our mission.
We strive to provide programs, campaigns, and services that are designed for and well received by as wide an audience as possible. In our work with schools, our Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention includes a framework of Equitable Implementation, which is our approach to using data more intentionally as we work with our schools to develop culturally responsive approaches to determine which student populations need additional resources and/or interventions.
How We Live Out Our Shared Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism
- We ensure that our team members regularly participate in professional development on topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism.
- We occasionally use search firms to move from intentions to actions with regard to recruiting a diverse team and board.
- We use the lens of Equitable Implementation in our programs to ensure that all young people are being served in data-informed and culturally responsive ways.
Equitable Implementation in our Programs
We use the lens of Equitable Implementation to ensure that all young people are being served in data-informed and culturally responsive ways. Using a comprehensive strategic planning framework, institutions participating in JED’s programs build and strengthen their systems, policies, programs, and practices to protect and promote emotional health and prevent suicide. The signature JED Campus and JED Campus Fundamentals programs for higher education and the JED High School program involve collecting feedback and data in real time throughout the collaborative strategic planning process to better understand a school’s unique culture, demographics, and relationship with the broader community.