Student mental health supports behind new U of L partnership
The University of Lethbridge is the first Canadian post-secondary institution to join The Jed & Clinton Health Matters Campus Program (The Campus Program) in support of student well-being and mental health.The program is designed to help schools prevent the two leading causes of death in young adults — unintentional injuries, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning, and suicide.
The Campus Program is designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming. Participating schools make a four-year commitment to work with The Campus Program to evaluate and identify opportunities to augment these activities on campus.
“We are very excited to participate in The Campus Program,” says Dr. Mark Slomp, acting director of student services and manager of counseling and career services at the University of Lethbridge. “Our participation builds on the excellent work done in recent years to promote student mental health and wellness. It also highlights our commitment to providing students the foundation to thrive in their academic pursuits, their careers and life as a whole. We can only contribute our best to the community when we are flourishing.”
The 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 Campus Program team. Membership in The Campus Program demonstrates the U of L’s commitment to promoting emotional well-being and improving substance abuse and suicide prevention programming for all students. The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program grants a membership seal to all schools that participate in the program.
“The college years are the age when many mental health issues first manifest, and it can be a time of significant stress and pressure,” says John MacPhee, executive director of The Jed Foundation. “The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program helps schools by working with them to survey everything their university is doing to support their students’ emotional health, and find practical ways to augment these efforts in a comprehensive way. We believe that the implementation of a campus-wide approach to mental health will lead to safer, healthier campuses, and likely greater student retention.”
Dr. Judith Lapadat, associate vice-president (students) at the U of L notes that as the first Canadian school to adopt The Campus Program, the U of L also stands out as one of the earliest participants in North America.
The University’s membership in The Campus Program begins with establishing an interdisciplinary, campus-wide Mental Health Task Force to assess, support and implement program improvements and taking a confidential, self-assessment survey on its mental health promotion, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming. Upon completion, survey responses are reviewed by The Campus Program team in comparison to the program’s framework – a comprehensive set of recommended practices. Schools then receive customized feedback and suggestions for enhancements, as well as direct support with their planning process.
“Our involvement in this program helps us to take a comprehensive look at how we can do an even better job of promoting student mental health on our campus,” adds Slomp.
For more information on The Campus Program, visit www.TheCampusProgram.org.
About The Jed Foundation
The Jed Foundation (www.jedfoundation.org) is a leading non-profit working to protect the emotional health of teenagers and college students. Our programs are inspiring a new national dialogue on mental health, encouraging millions of young people to speak up and take action, and changing the way academic institutions create healthier campus communities and prevent substance abuse and self-harm.
About the Clinton Foundation
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation (www.clintonfoundation.org) convenes businesses, governments, NGOs and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth and help communities address the effects of climate change.