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    JED Campus Program: Propelling Mental Health Forward

    More students are arriving at college with mental health concerns requiring evaluation, treatment, and support, and campuses see an urgent need to overhaul their approach to supporting students’ emotional well-being. JED Campus is an initiative of the JED Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to “protecting emotional health of college students and preventing suicide and substance abuse,” that guides institutions through this evaluation and change.

    JED Campus, which was launched approximately two years ago, services over 170 college and university members. For a relatively low cost, members of the JED Campus initiative join with JED experts embarking on a campuswide effort to create change. The team performs a multiyear strategic review assessing current policies, systems, and programming, enabling them to design a detailed plan to strengthen current offerings and address identified needs. Each school is assigned a JED Campus advisor who shepherds them through the entire process, providing consultation and resources from evaluation through implementation. Assessments are conducted as a baseline at the beginning and toward the end of the school’s participation in the program. Schools receive a detailed feedback report highlighting areas for enhancement, and a JED Campus subject matter expert meets with the school’s JED Campus team to develop a strategic plan to guide their work.

    Colleges also participate in the Healthy Minds Network study, a campuswide survey that measures students’ attitudes, behaviors, and awareness of mental health issues. Like the JED Campus Assessment, the Healthy Minds Study is administered at baseline and again toward the end of the school’s participation in the JED Campus program. These pre- and post-program assessments allow schools to measure the efficacy of their efforts by evaluating the impact that JED Campus changes on student outcomes.

    To effect long-term change to campus systems, JED Campus approaches this work as a matter of public health. Emotional well-being is viewed as the responsibility of everyone on campus and receives support from senior leadership.

    JED Campus members also have access to learning-community webinars and an online resource library that provides examples of programs, policies, strategies, and research articles to help guide their work.

    United Educators (UE) believes the JED Campus program can help schools to integrate compassion and knowledge about student well-being into all aspects of the institution, leading to an overall healthier student body and a positive learning climate for all students. To become a JED Campus member and learn more, visit

    By Heather A. Salko, senior risk management counsel