Today, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) announced it has been awarded the JedCampus Seal from The Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college and university students.
The Seal recognizes schools that exhibit comprehensive mental health promotion and suicide prevention programming on campus. The Seal is part of the Foundation’s JedCampus program, the first nationwide program to facilitate a school's ability to assess and enhance their mental health support system from a campus-wide perspective.
The WPI Student Development and Counseling Center (SDCC) is dedicated to developing and implementing ongoing programming to help members of the community recognize and respond to student mental health distress.
"We emphasize in these trainings that WPI is a caring and engaged community, where we look out for one another," said Charles Morse, director of the SDCC. "Then we provide specific training and support so faculty, staff, and students know how and when to reach out to someone in distress and how to help them get connected to appropriate resources on or off campus."
As part of the process to earn the Seal, WPI took a voluntary, online self-assessment reviewing its campus mental health and suicide prevention programming. The Jed Foundation then compared the school's responses to the recommended practices outlined in The Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention on College and University Campuses, developed by The Jed Foundation and Suicide Prevention Resource Center. As part of this process, WPI received confidential feedback designed to help enhance its programming and resources. The Seal is valid for two years.
"We are thrilled to be able to announce the first schools in the nation to receive the JedCampus Seal. Schools like WPI have shown they employ a comprehensive, community-based approach to mental health care which will result in the identification of and care for more at-risk students," said John MacPhee, executive director of The Jed Foundation. "We believe that the implementation of a campus-wide approach to mental health promotion will lead to safer, healthier campuses, and possibly greater student retention."
The Jed Foundation only publicly recognizes those schools awarded the Seal. Names, survey responses and feedback reports of those schools that do not receive a Seal are confidential. If the self-assessment survey revealed gaps in programming, colleges and universities were invited to work closely with The Jed Foundation to address them. Those schools can reapply for the JedCampus Seal after one year.
Leading higher education and mental health professional organizations, including the American College Counseling Association, American College Health Association, National Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, have provided statements of support for the JedCampus initiative.
About The Jed Foundation
The Jed Foundation works to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students. Our programs include JedCampus, a self-assessment and feedback program designed to help colleges enhance mental health programming; ULifeline, an online mental health resource that gives students access to campus-specific resources and an anonymous mental health screener; Half of Us, the Peabody Award-winning campaign with mtvU, which uses online and on-air programming to decrease stigma and encourage help-seeking; Love is Louder, a movement to build connectedness and increase resiliency; Transition Year, an online resource aimed at helping to ensure the smooth, safe and healthy transition of teenagers from high school to college; and a portfolio of resources that helps campuses promote mental health and protect at-risk students. Learn more at www.jedfoundation.org.