JED Campus Coming to Truman

UCS Lobby
A picture of the University Counseling Services office. Students approved an increase in the student health fee to increase mental health services on campus. (Photo by Nicolas Telep)

Truman State University will implement a four-year, campus-wide program called JED Campus to enhance mental health services this spring.

JED Campus partners with hundreds of universities across the nation to promote mental health awareness for students. Truman allocated the funds, which the 2017 Homecoming Committee raised, to pay for the program.

The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit organization aimed at equipping young adults in high school and college with the skills necessary to promote positive mental health and prevent suicide.

Brenda Higgins, Student Health Center and University Counseling Services director, says a comprehensive survey will be sent out to all students. The “Healthy Mind Survey” is anonymous and designed to gauge emotional and mental health on campus. Skilled consultants from JED will analyze the results, visit campus and make recommendations on how the University can improve its mental health care as part of a more comprehensive campus-wide approach to addressing emotional well-being.

“The JED program involves the whole campus,” Higgins says. “We will have individuals from higher administration at the University. We will have faculty, a representative from the counseling center, the health center, students, and we should have legal affairs [and] admissions. It’s a whole campus kind of thing that will have a positive impact that hopefully radiates out through the whole campus.”

Lou Ann Gilchrist, former vice president for student affairs, says JED specialists and the University will gradually integrate a strategic plan into Truman’s approach.