In an email sent out to students and staff on August 22, the Division of Student Affairs announced that N.C Central University would be joining up with the Jed Foundation to support students’ mental health.
Mental health has increasingly been a problem with college students. According to MayoClinic in a survey taken across 133 college campuses in 2021-2022, 44% of students reported symptoms of depression and 15% of students seriously considered suicide. In May of this year, a total of 14 students died by suicide at NC State University, according to ABC news.
NCCU’s partnership with JED Campus aims to help better support students and their mental health. A multi-year strategic collaboration is in the works to assess and enhance the work already being done on campus to create a positive community, as said in the press release sent by Ariel Germain, Director for Marketing and Communications, Division of Student Affairs, on August 22.
“NCCU’s membership in JED Campus begins with establishing an interdisciplinary, campus-wide team to assess, support and implement program, policy, and system improvements and completing a confidential, self-assessment survey on its mental health promotion, substance use, and suicide prevention efforts,” said Germain in the press release.
“Upon completion of the assessment, JED subject matter experts provide schools with a comprehensive feedback report identifying successes and opportunities for enhancements. Over the course of four years, NCCU will collaborate with JED to help implement enhancements. All self-assessment responses and feedback reports are confidential.”
According to their website, JED Campus provides colleges and universities with expert support, evidence-based best practices, and data-driven guidance to protect student mental health and prevent suicide.
“The college years are the age when many mental health issues first manifest, and it can be a time of significant stress and pressure,” said John MacPhee, Chief Executive Officer of JED in the official press release.
“JED Campus helps schools by working with them to survey everything their college or university is doing to support their students’ emotional health and find practical ways to augment these efforts in a comprehensive way. We believe that the implementation of a campus-wide approach to mental health will lead to safer, healthier communities, and likely greater student retention.”
The foundation itself was started by Phil and Donna Satow in 2000, who named the foundation after their youngest son Jed who committed suicide in 1998. Since then, JED has been one of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to young adult mental health.