Jed Foundation aims to improve mental health access
In an effort to provide students with more mental health resources and lower campus suicide rates, Counseling and Psychological Services is working on a four-year improvement plan with The Jed Foundation.
The partnership between The Jed Foundation and UH will focus on seven key areas and identify which ones need improvement, conduct evidence-based reviews and build upon current mental health resources.
“Through these efforts we hope to cast a ‘safety net’ for our students so they will feel supported, more willing/able to get the help they need, prevent more severe mental health outcomes and to improve their overall health and well-being,” said CAPS director Norma Ngo.
A focus group is being held by JED representatives on Nov. 15 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Third Ward room in Student Center South. Interested students can sign up to participate in the focus group and share their wellness experiences.
10,000 students were emailed a link for the Healthy Minds survey, which will help the foundation gain a better understanding of student thoughts on mental health, along with diversity, inclusion and coping mechanisms.
The final date to complete the survey is Nov. 18 and all who complete it will be entered into a drawing to win prizes, consisting of Apple products and gift cards.
Not only will this initiative help students who are currently struggling with their mental health, but it will also provide support for students who currently are not struggling.
Media production freshman Emerson Sturges feels as if resources for students transitioning to college and struggling with their mental health are sparse and that students would benefit from them. Sturges has also struggled with depression and has had the support of her family, but knows that some students do not.
“I think a system to check up on students or a place for students in that situation to go full of people that are understanding of that situation and want to help them get to a better place would be really beneficial,” Sturges said.
Founded in 2000, The Jed Foundation launched a blueprint for suicide prevention after the founders lost their son to suicide. The foundation has identified seven areas to focus on, including developing life skills and identifying students at risk.
“JED Campus signifies that we are putting systems, programs, and policies in place to create a culture of Cougars caring for each other that builds an emotional safety net for our students’ mental health,” Ngo said.