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Free Training Helps Campus Health Professionals Support the Combat to College Transition

July 17, 2012

NEW YORK, NY, (7/18/12) – The Jed Foundation and the Bob Woodruff Foundation announced today the launch of Understanding and Supporting the Emotional Health of Student Veterans, a free, one-hour CM/CME certified training to help campus health professionals best support a growing population of student veterans. The Jed Foundation, a national nonprofit working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students, worked with veterans and campus professionals to develop the training which helps health professionals understand the student veteran perspective, connect with veterans on their campuses, and identify and address emotional health problems related to their service, like post traumatic stress and combat depression.

The 2010 changes in the GI Bill and the return of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan have increased the number of veterans pursuing higher education. Focus groups with student veterans found that the transition into campus life can be challenging due to changes in work structure and schedule, feeling different from civilian peers, and dealing with the emotional scars of service and combat. The Jed Foundation’s training addresses all aspects of this transition to help campus health professionals best support the success of their veteran populations. It also prepares them to recognize and address signs of suicide, an important part of decreasing the alarming rate of suicide among returning veterans.

“Today’s student veterans have sacrificed so much, and it’s our duty to ensure they have a healthy, successful college experience,” said John MacPhee, Executive Director of The Jed Foundation. “We’ve taken the time to listen to those veterans and develop a training that best reflects their needs and the emotional challenges they are facing.” The training was funded by the Bob Woodruff Foundation as part of an ongoing partnership that also includes a series of PSAs with mtVU, MTV’s college network, that help bridge the divide between student veterans and their civilian peers (

Understanding and Supporting the Emotional Health of Student Veterans is CME/CE certified for physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and licensed mental health counselors. The webinar is hosted by Bill Smith, BSW, MS, Health Educator with the Office of Student Health & Wellness at The University of Missouri – Kansas City and a highly-decorated Army veteran, and Sheryl Frye, MS, MSW, Assistant Director of Counseling for Military Student Services at Northern Illinois University. The structure of the program has been planned and implemented by The Jed Foundation and CME Outfitters ( in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

About Bob Woodruff Foundation
Co-founded by award-winning ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff after he sustained serious injuries while covering the Iraq War in 2006; The Bob Woodruff Foundation is the national nonprofit that helps ensure our nation’s injured service members, veterans and their families return to a home front ready to support them. BWF provides resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically.
Across the country, the Bob Woodruff Foundation collaborates with organizations and experts to identify and solve issues related to the return of service members from combat to civilian life and invests in programs that connect our troops to the help they need — from individual needs like physical accommodations, job training, financial counseling, to larger social issues like homelessness and suicide. Through our charitable investment program, BWF seeks out innovative charitable programs that promote meaningful activity—education, employment, entrepreneurship, volunteerism and community integration—for post-9/11 injured service members and their families. BWF is finding and funding organizations that build strong bodies and sound minds and have programs that bring a sense of hope and fulfillment into warrior’s lives. The Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested $12 million in over 70 organizations, impacting more than 1,000,000 service members, support personnel, veterans and their families nationwide.

For more information about the Bob Woodruff Foundation, please visit


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 Check out our programs including: JED Campus (, Set to Go (, ULifeline (, Half of Us (, Love is Louder (, and Seize the Awkward (

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

Manuela McDonough
Director, Media Relations

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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.