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New Tool Gives Campuses a Model for Promoting Student Mental Health and Preventing Suicide

March 1, 2012


New York, New York – March 1, 2012 – The Jed Foundation, a leading national nonprofit working to reduce emotional distress and prevent suicide among college students, has partnered with the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to release Campus MHAP: A Guide to Campus Mental Health Action Planning. The new publication helps college and university professionals develop a comprehensive plan to promote the mental health of their campus communities and support students who are struggling emotionally or are distressed. The guide, released today, can be downloaded for free at www.jedfoundation.org or www.sprc.org.

Students report that mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are impediments to academic success, and a 2010 AP survey conducted by The Jed Foundation and MTV found that more than 50% of college students have been so stressed they could not get work done during the prior year. The survey also found that 13% of students have a friend who attempted suicide during the last 12 months. To combat these problems, The Jed Foundation and staff from EDC’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center developed a model for promoting student mental health and preventing suicide. Many schools around the country have adopted this model, and the new guide makes it more accessible by leading schools through a step-by-step process to define campus-specific issues and priorities, develop programs and policies, and evaluate their efforts.

“Promoting the emotional health of students and preventing suicide is the responsibility of the entire campus community, not just counseling center staff,” says John MacPhee, Executive Director of The Jed Foundation. “Together with EDC, we’ve developed a model that helps schools strategically approach these challenges, with a focus on measurable results. The CampusMHAP planning guide is a free resource to help schools implement a public health model for comprehensive mental health promotion and suicide prevention on their specific campuses and with their students’ needs in mind.”

The development of CampusMHAP: A Guide to Campus Mental Health Action Planning was guided by leading experts in mental health and higher education, with input from college and university campus professionals working on-the-ground with programs and services related to mental health and suicide prevention. It is part of a Campus Mental Health Action Planning series that includes four webinars available for free at campusmhap.jedfoundation.org.

About EDC
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) is a global nonprofit organization that designs, delivers and evaluates innovative programs to address some of the world’s most urgent challenges in education, health, and economic opportunity. Working with public-sector and private partners, EDC harnesses the power of people and systems to improve education, health promotion and care, workforce preparation, communications technologies, and civic engagement. EDC’s services include research, training, educational materials and strategy, with activities ranging from seed projects to large-scale national and international initiatives. EDC enjoys a worldwide reputation for its excellence in program and fiscal management and for the impact of its work. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is one of EDC’s 350 projects. Learn more by visiting www.edc.org and www.sprc.org.


About The Jed Foundation (JED)

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, 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.

Learn more at jedfoundation.org. Check out our programs including: JED Campus (jedcampus.org), Set to Go (settogo.org), ULifeline (ulifeline.org), Half of Us (halfofus.com), Love is Louder (loveislouder.com), and Seize the Awkward (seizetheawkward.org).

Connect with JED:  EmailTwitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

Manuela McDonough
Director, Media Relations
202-812-5290
manuela@jedfoundation.org


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The World Health Organization defines “mental health” “as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” In using this definition, S2i recognizes that some mental health challenges reflect brain diseases that, like physical diseases, require appropriate stigma-free and patient-centered care and include both mental health and substance use disorders. Other mental health challenges stem from social conditions and marginalization and require different forms of interventions.