Mon. Feb 24th, 2020

USHE’s response to mental health crisis on campuses

In response to growing mental health and wellness needs on national and local campuses, the Utah System of Higher Education’s eight public colleges and universities are partnering with The Jed Foundation (JED) in a statewide agreement to support the mental health and well-being of Utah students. JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for this nation’s teens and young adults. 

JED Campus (www.jedcampus.org) guides participating schools through a four-year collaborative process of comprehensive systems, program and policy development with customized support to build upon existing student mental health, substance misuse and suicide prevention efforts. 

The JED Campus team assesses work already underway in the campus community and helps schools enhance these efforts to effect positive, lasting and systemic change. 

This evidence-based program, which is being implemented at more than 290 colleges and universities throughout the country, is consistent with and supports the USHE Regents’ Mental Health Recommendations, which were revised last year. In addition, the program includes two administrations of the Healthy Minds Study, a student survey to measure attitudes and behaviors related to mental health that is required by the Regents in spring 2020 and 2022. 

“JED is grateful for the partnership and support of USHE, The J.Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and Utah’s higher education community in bringing comprehensive, evidence-based mental health support to Utah’s college students,” said John MacPhee, JED’s executive director. “We know this collaborative effort has worked well in other states seeking to raise awareness and action for teen and young  adult mental health and suicide prevention and are confident it will be effective in Utah as well.” 

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation recently provided substantial funding to support the JED Campus program at USHE schools. The remainder of the JED participation fees will be covered by one-time funds identified by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. 

The Marriott Foundation is also providing funding to convene the participating institutions annually to analyze statewide data trends, share knowledge and resources, and discuss promising practices as it relates to college student mental health. These convenings will be led by JED Subject Matter Experts.

“USHE is fully committed to developing solutions for our campuses in the areas of student mental health and well-being,” said Harris H. Simmons, Chair of the USHE Board of Regents. “We are appreciative of the commitment from the Marriott Foundation and look forward to utilizing the resources and expertise of JED in the years to come in supporting our students statewide.”

USHE colleges and universities will also have access to:

Ongoing support from a dedicated JED Campus Advisor for the duration of the four-year program

ULifeline – an online resource center for college students including a confidential online screener

The JED Campus Playbook – a comprehensive online resource library consisting of resources, sample policies, programs, educational campaigns, and research/professional journal articles

Participation in the JED Campus Learning Community, consisting of at least fifteen webinars per year, discussion board access, and monthly newsletters

“Student mental health and wellness is a primary concern for the Marriott Foundation and all those involved in higher education,” said Mieka Wick, executive director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. “Supporting Utah’s colleges and universities in this way will supply the tools, resources, and training needed to strengthen students’ mental health and well-being and generate positive change across the state.”

About the Utah System of Higher Education

The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) is governed by the USHE Board of Regents and is comprised of Utah’s eight public colleges and universities. The CEO of USHE is the Commissioner of Higher Education. For more information, visit ushe.edu.

About The Jed Foundation 

The Jed Foundation (JED) is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. JED partners with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. JED equips teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other; and JED encourages community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health.

About The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation was established in 1965 with the purpose of giving back to the community. Under the current direction of J.W. Marriott, Jr. and Richard E. Marriott, the Marriott Foundation is dedicated to supporting exceptional nonprofit organizations that provide civic and human services, foster educational achievement, promote equal access to gainful employment, and develop the next generation of hospitality leaders

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