About JED High School
High school students are struggling with their mental health now more than ever. They are facing challenges with developing social connectedness in their school community, engaging in help-seeking behaviors, building life skills, and seeking treatment. To address these challenges, JED is continuing our efforts to support students’ mental health and emotional well-being. JED High School is dedicated to helping school districts and high schools evaluate and strengthen their programming and systems related to suicide prevention, mental health, and substance misuse prevention.
The Need for High School Mental Health Resources
Our high school work began in September 2017 with the launch of our Set to Go program, which aimed to help teens, their families, and educators with the tools to prepare emotionally for the transition out of high school into adulthood.
Our survey on the mental health of high school students, conducted with Fluent Research in 2019, highlighted what we have suspected for some time: administrators, parents, and high school students agree that high schools must focus on improving the mental health and well-being of students and better prepare them for the transition from high school to college and adulthood.
Now, we are launching the Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for High Schools, which is dedicated to helping school districts and high schools evaluate and strengthen their students’ mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programming and systems.
The Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for High Schools
Six Findings: Understanding and Addressing the Mental Health of High School Students
JED partnered with Fluent Research to better understand the mental health needs of high school students across the country. The study found that students’ mental health needs were significant and were not being fully addressed in high schools.
Key findings include:
- Mental health was viewed by high school administrators as a key issue for high school students.
- The risk for student suicide was a strong concern for school administrators and students.
- Students from lower-income households were particularly vulnerable with regard to mental health issues.
- High school students who identified as female were more at-risk for mental health issues than those who identified as male.
- Administrators, caregivers, and students agree: it is time to address student mental health.
- Students need more mental health resources and strategies.
How We’re Helping High Schools
We heard what multiple stakeholders need, and we are answering the call. The efforts are even more urgent now; COVID-19 has exacerbated mental health issues among many adolescents. Our new Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for High Schools is designed to guide and support schools as they strengthen systems to meet the growing social, emotional, and mental health needs and challenges of teenagers across the country.
We are focused on recruiting more schools serving a significant number of households whose incomes are below the federal poverty threshold. While the pandemic has made program adoption and implementation challenging for some schools, it has highlighted the salience of JED High School for many others, especially for schools in BIPOC communities.
Interested in learning more or signing up your high school for JED High School? Complete this form.
- Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Relief Bill Summary For High Schools (PDF)
- Creating Space for Student Success and Emotional Well-being: Addressing Mental Health in High Schools - JED Webinar (August 2020)
- High School Programming: An Introduction - JED Webinar (December 2020)
JED High Schools
Since the fall of 2020, 18 high schools located in 12 cities/towns across the country have joined JED High School, enabling us to directly reach nearly 15,000 students. Among these students, 57% identify as students of color; within the public schools with which we are working, 52% of students are from households whose incomes are below the federal poverty threshold.
Students need better mental and emotional support through their high schools. JED has the experience, evidence-based approach, and program to help. Please donate today to support our work and help us reach even more students.
Special Thanks to the JED High School Funders
Jolene McCaw Family Foundation
Morgan Stanley Foundation
Poses Family Foundation
Mindy and Jesse Rogers
Linda Vester and Glenn Greenberg
Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation
Allen Family Foundation