A seal of approval for quality mental health care
Supporting the emotional health of students should be a priority on all campuses, and the nonprofit Jed Foundation is helping to make that happen. Colleges and universities can evaluate the care they provide with JedCampus, a program launched in May.
“Efforts should be made to promote connectedness and reduced isolation,” says John MacPhee, executive director of the program. “Mental health improves the more a student feels like a member of a community.”
When the first round of results from a JedCampus survey are analyzed this fall, institutions with comprehensive programs will be publicly recognized on JedCampus.org and designated with the JedCampus seal. Institutions may use the seal in their marketing efforts. Survey respondents who do not earn the JedCampus seal will not have their results made public. “We wanted to help schools assess their programs and make the programming publicly available to families as they go through the college selection process,” MacPhee says. Effective mental health programs will lead to better retention rates, MacPhee adds. “Data shows that mental health issues can lead to poor academic performance and even dropping out.”
What does a comprehensive program look like? According to the foundation, it’s one that identifies at-risk students, provides mental health services, follows crisis management procedures, restricts access to deadly means (e.g., rooftops), promotes connectedness, assists with development of life skills, and increases help-seeking behavior.
Campuses should consider these standards when developing mental health programs, says Gregory T. Eells, director of counseling and psychological services at Cornell University. “Institutions must find ways to go beyond simple treatment and implement a broader public health approach that focuses on reducing the risk of suicide and promoting mental health for the entire student population.”
UPDATE: The institutions that have received the JedCampus Seal are:
- Alfred University (Alfred, New York)
- Barnard College (New York, New York)
- Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)
- Brandeis University (Waltham, Massachusetts)
- Columbia University (New York, New York)
- Cornell University (Ithaca, New York)
- Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Fordham University (Bronx, New York)
- Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
- Luther College (Decorah, Iowa)
- Marymount Manhattan College (New York, New York)
- Monmouth University (West Long Branch, New Jersey)
- New York University (New York, New York)
- The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
- Pace University (New York, New York)
- Pennsylvania State University, Altoona (Altoona, Pennsylvania)
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)
- Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey)
- Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas)
- Three Rivers Community College (Norwich, Connecticut)
- Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana)
- University at Albany, State University of New York (Albany, New York)
- University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California)
- University of the Sciences (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- University of West Georgia (Carrollton, Georgia)
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada)
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Massachusetts)
- Yeshiva University (New York, New York)
- Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
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