UNT’s JED Campus partnership strives to strengthen mental health resources

UNT’s JED Campus partnership strives to strengthen mental health resources

UNT’s JED Campus partnership strives to strengthen mental health resources
October 06
11:32 2018

UNT joined JED Campus in 2016-2017, which is a nonprofit that partners with schools to help with mental health programming. The four-year partnership is now nearing the end of its second year.

“Back in 2014 or 2015, we launched the mental health task force,” said Teresa McKinney, the assistant vice president for student affairs. “This was a natural extension of the mental health task force.”

McKinney said they had held mental health symposiums and workshops in the past. Partnering with JED Campus was seen as the next tier in UNT’s “quest for improved mental health services so that we can have a comprehensive approach to mental health on our campus.”

Through JED Campus, UNT has access to webinar trainings, an online library and can network with their JED Campus liaison and other participating schools.

JED Campus is a branch of The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit created in 2000 by Donna and Phil Satow who lost their son to suicide two years prior.

“JED Campus was created in 2013 but has evolved many times over in the last five years into the current version of the program,” Lee Swain, the director of JED Campus, said in an email. “The original version of the program involved a written assessment which was reviewed by JED’s clinical team and resulted in a score and a feedback report, offering recommendations on how work could be improved.”

Now, schools that partner with JED Campus can expect a four-year commitment, which requires schools to form a team of administrators, faculty and students to take an assessment, Swain said. Schools will then come up with strategic plans to implement with the help of a campus advisor. The four-year partnership will end with a post-assessment to see the change in the campus over the four years.

“We also now partner with the Healthy Minds Study at the University of Michigan to gather information through directly surveying students about their experience on campus,” Swain said. “All of the changes were in response to our early learnings and recommendations from schools.”

Currently, JED Campus is actively partnered with 214 schools and 21 have completed early versions of the program.

Bianca Mujica, the president of the UNT organizations Active Minds and To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the student representative on the mental health task force, said she is very thankful for all the resources UNT has in terms of mental health and believes they were a critical factor of her academic success.

“I know there’s varying opinions on whether or not the administration supports students,” Mujica said in an email. “But the fact that there is administrative and campus-wide support for student mental health proves to me that we definitely have people with authority at this school that support and care about us.”

McKinney said the university has not decided whether they will continue the partnership with JED Campus beyond the four years.

“That’s something that will definitely be up for discussion because we do see the value of the program,” Mckinney said.

Featured Image: UNT Health and Wellness Center is partnering with JED Campus, an initiative of JED Foundation that helps guide schools in providing comprehensive mental health care for their students. Emilia Capuchino

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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