Wofford College recently joined the JED Campus Program, a nationwide initiative of The Jed Foundation to enhance student well-being and boost efforts to prevent substance abuse and suicide prevention.

“Mental health involves so many factors — stress, self care, cultural changes. The college years are also a time when mental health issues first manifest. It’s a complex issue,” says Perry Henson, the college’s director of counseling and accessibility services. “By becoming a JED Campus, Wofford will be able to look critically at how we are supporting the emotional health of our students and find practical ways to augment these efforts. A campus-wide approach to mental health will lead to a safer, healthier Wofford community.”

As a JED Campus, Wofford will embark on a multi-year strategic collaboration to continue the college’s work to improve mental health and create positive, lasting, systemic change where needed. The JED Campus Program provides schools with 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. Program participation involves the establishment of a Mental Health Advisory Board. This newly formed team will coordinate the college’s efforts to assess, support and enhance mental health promotion and substance abuse and suicide prevention programming on campus over the next four years.

This fall Wofford students re-chartered Active Minds, a nationwide organization that focuses on the mental health of college students. The group has held their first meetings and events to raise awareness. The college’s Wellness Center also brought therapy dogs to the campus several times as stress relievers and has sponsored other events designed to educate college students on healthy habits that will improve mental health.

JED is a national nonprofit that exists to protect the emotional health of our country’s 40 million high school and college students and reduce the risks of substance abuse and suicide. Visit TheCampusProgram.org for more information.

by Sarah Madden, Wofford Class of 2017