Kenyon Joins JED Campus

The program, designed to support student wellness, will assess and enhance mental health as well as substance misuse and suicide prevention efforts.

By David Hoyt '14

Kenyon has joined JED Campus in support of student well-being and mental health. The program is a nationwide initiative of The Jed Foundation designed to help colleges evaluate and strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems in order to ensure the strongest possible mental health safety nets. There are currently over 400 campuses engaged in the JED Campus program.

JED Campuses embark on a multi-year strategic collaboration that not only assesses and enhances the work that is already being done but also helps create positive, lasting, systemic change in the campus community. The program provides colleges with a framework for supporting student mental health, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports, a strategic plan and ongoing support from the JED Higher Education team.

“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. “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.”

At Kenyon, the implementation of the program will be overseen by a team of campus partners co-led by Holly Levin, associate director for health promotion at the Cox Health and Counseling Center; Ted Mason, associate provost for diversity, equity & inclusion and special advisor to the president; and Chris Smith, senior director of wellness.

“The JED Campus program and the multidisciplinary campus team we’ve put together show Kenyon’s commitment to making strides for improving mental health,” Levin said. “It is a four-year program, so while we have completed the first steps of assessment and have had our site visit, I am excited for the next steps of forming and implementing goals and objectives.”

Mason added that “helping members of the Kenyon community maintain their mental health requires a team effort and is something that cannot be done overnight. Becoming a JED Campus will augment the initiatives we already have in place, and I expect that our campus team will find ways of making all of our projects work together effectively.”

 Kenyon’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. Upon completion of the assessment, JED subject matter experts will provide a comprehensive feedback report identifying successes and opportunities for enhancements. Over the course of four years, Kenyon will collaborate with JED to help implement enhancements. All self-assessment responses and feedback reports are confidential.

“Being a JED Campus is something I and so many others are proud of, as the Kenyon community has been very invested in this process for some time,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Celestino Limas. “The connection of robust, proactive student mental health resources to our new strategic plan makes partnering with JED Campus a point of great enthusiasm.”

Learn more about The Jed Foundation and JED Campus.