The Jed Foundation (JED) Data and Resources for Understanding and Managing Anxiety and Other Mental Health Conditions
March 25, 2020
New York, NY–March 25, 2020–The Jed Foundation (JED) is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. A major public health concern like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, as many students across the nation are dealing with sudden disruptions to their regular schedules, as well as having to leave their campuses quickly without contingency plans in place. Over the past 20 years, JED has researched and worked closely with American colleges and universities to understand the factors affecting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of high school and college students.
The top five mental health-related issues experienced by students as reported by high school officials are anxiety, unhealthy social media use, lack of family stability/support at home, difficulty coping with stress in a healthy way, and difficulty managing emotions. These are issues that may be heightened during times of fear and uncertainty.
Loneliness and isolation are also significant risk factors for mental health problems and/or suicidal behavior. More than 22% of college students received counseling for a mental health concern this year. Supportive relationships and feelings of connectedness to campus, family, and friends are protective factors that can help lower risk. Ninety-six percent of the more than 300 colleges and universities that are JED Campuses have systems or strategies in place to help identify and support disconnected or isolated students.
The following resources developed by JED may be helpful in learning about and addressing the mental health challenges that can arise during this time.
- The Love is Louder Action Center provides resources and tips for taking care of physical and mental health, and supporting each other during this time of uncertainty. Love is Louder is a project of The Jed Foundation that uses storytelling, digital campaigns, grassroots efforts, and media partnerships, to amplify the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that causes us pain.
- JED’s Mental Health Resource Center provides tools to help teens and young adults navigate life’s challenges. It also has information for family members and friends on how to support the teens and young adults in your life.
- Seize the Awkward provides young adults with a variety of resources including tutorial videos, information on how to notice if a friend is struggling with their mental health, conversation starters, and tips on how to start and sustain a conversation with their peers around mental health.
- Press Pause encourages students to use simple mindfulness techniques–like breathing exercises, meditation, perspective checks, music, and movement–to deal with stresses and challenges that can make young adults feel overwhelmed or hopeless.
- Set To Go provides students, families, and educators resources on how to get emotionally prepared for the transition from high school to college or adulthood.
- JED’s You Can Help Trainings for students and college professionals assist with identifying and supporting those who may be struggling with a mental health challenge. Accompanying each of these presentations are discussion guides as well as assessment tools to measure learning outcomes.
- The JED Voices video series features celebrities and influencers who talk about what mental health means to them. Sharing these stories can be a powerful way to reduce shame, prejudice, and secrecy, and inspire young adults to be proactive about their mental health.
- ULifeline is an online resource for college students. Schools can sign up and can post campus-specific information on how to access treatment and crisis services. There is a self-screening tool that allows school clinicians to have access to some very basic analytics on screening results.