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Supporting Our Students’ Emotional Health and Well-Being

Dear Emerson Community,

I am pleased to announce that Emerson has received a Hillman Family Grant to help fund the College’s participation in JED Campus, a multi-year program designed to support and enhance the emotional health and well-being of our students. The JED Campus program is a nationwide initiative of the JED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and building upon existing student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts. By joining this program, Emerson becomes one of 200 colleges and universities in the U.S. with this membership.

We know that access to programs and resources that provide emotional care is essential for students to be able to complete their studies and to flourish both professionally and personally.  By joining the JED Campus Program, and participating in the program’s Healthy Minds Study last spring, Emerson strengthens its commitment to the emotional well-being of our students.

JED Campus schools embark on a multi-year strategic collaboration that not only assesses and enhances the work that is already being done, but helps create positive, lasting, systemic change in the campus community. The program provides a framework for supporting student mental health, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports, and ongoing technical assistance from the JED Campus team of clinicians.

An interdisciplinary team of Emerson students, faculty, staff and administration formed to assess, support and implement improvements to our services, education, policies and strategies with assistance from the JED Campus Program team. The results of the campus-wide Healthy Minds Study will provide important feedback that will help us identify areas to enhance our current efforts and areas where we might direct resources going forward. It will also provide a benchmark to allow us to measure outcomes and effectiveness.

These new initiatives are part of our continued improvement to prioritize student emotional and behavioral health as a necessary component for academic excellence and success.

I would like to thank the members of the Emerson community who provided input for the Hillman Family Grant proposal as well as members of the working group to implement the JED Campus Program at Emerson. I wish to acknowledge Patty Challan, associate director of counseling and psychological services; Sharon Duffy, assistant vice president of student affairs; Elise Harrison, director of counseling and psychological services, Laura Owen, associate director of the center for health and wellness, and Jane Powers, director of the center for health and wellness for their work in leading the campus in this effort.

Joining JED represents a tremendous opportunity for the College to implement a campus-wide approach to mental health promotion that will help lead to a safer campus, healthier students and illustrates the College’s commitment to a holistic approach to student success. In the coming months, you will hear more about the JED Campus program, and we look forward to your participation in this initiative. Visit Emerson’s JED website to learn more about the process and strategic plan.

Lee Pelton

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