Quinnipiac University
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Health, Wellness and Safety

JED Initiative at Quinnipiac

We have a long-standing commitment to student's success and well-being at Quinnipiac. Mental health is an increasing struggle for young people nationwide. That's why we've partnered with the JED Foundation to bring the JED Campus initiative to Quinnipiac. JED is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to young adult mental health. Through its programs JED seeks to protect the emotional health of and prevent suicide among teens and young adults. 

Students are at the center of this project. Our goal is to incorporate the student experience and perspective into all aspects of this initiative. We have student representatives on the committee leading this project, and we'll be asking for student input along the way.

Mental Health Nationwide By the Numbers

8.5%+ Mental health issues are increasing

The rate of people ages 18-25 who experienced a mental, behavioral or emotional health issue within the past year has grown from 22.1% in 2016 to 30.6% in 2021 (SAMHSA, 2021).

29.1% Young people struggle with anxiety

Nationally, 29.1% of young people have been diagnosed with anxiety (NCHA, 2021).

23.6% Young people experience depression

Nationally, 23.6% of young people have been diagnosed with depression (NCHA, 2021).

Bringing JED to Quinnipiac

The JED Foundation

JED works to ensure:

  • Teens and young adults are equipped to navigate mental health challenges, to seek and give help

  • Every high school and college student attends a school with a comprehensive system to support mental health

The Jed Foundation (JED) believes in a comprehensive public health approach to promoting mental health and preventing suicide. JED’s programs are grounded in our Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities, developed in collaboration with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). This evidence-based model can be used to assess efforts currently being made on campus, identifying existing strengths and areas for improvement.

Beginning in Fall 2022, Quinnipiac embarked on a four-year commitment with the JED Campus organization. This non-profit is a nationwide initiative of The Jed Foundation (JED) designed to guide schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, program, and policy development with customized support to build upon existing student mental health, substance use and suicide prevention efforts.

This strategic partnership with JED will assess and enhance existing work and help to create positive, lasting, systemic change in the campus community. This process is being led by an interdisciplinary, campus-wide team to assess, support and implement improvements.

Simply put: Over the next four years, we're going to look at everything we do to support student, faculty and staff mental health, and establish concrete ways to do that even better.

The JED Comprehensive Approach

JED Campus believes in a comprehensive, public health approach to promoting emotional well-being and preventing suicide and serious substance misuse. This model is used to assess efforts currently made on campus, identifying existing strengths and areas for improvement.

JED built upon its comprehensive approach in 2017 by developing the Equity in Mental Health Framework, in partnership with The Steve Fund, which provides ten recommendations and implementation strategies to help colleges and universities better support the mental health of students of color.


Develop life skills

Supporting life skills education is valuable in teaching healthy ways to cope with the stress of college life. Some of the life skills that are important to a student's well-being include managing friendships and relationships, problem solving, decision making, identifying and managing emotions, healthy living, and finding life purpose, meaning and identity.


Promote social connectedness

Research has shown that loneliness and isolation are significant risk factors for mental health problems and/or suicidal behavior. Therefore, supportive social relationships and feeling connected to campus, family and friends are protective factors that can help lower risk.


Identify students at risk

It is important to take action to identify students at risk for mental health problems and/or suicidal behavior, and also to promote emotional health awareness among those who interact with students the most — “gatekeepers” such as residence hall staff, academic advisors, faculty and even fellow students — as it is vital for these people to be able to recognize and refer a student who might be in distress.


Increase help-seeking behavior

Many students who need help may be reluctant or unsure of how to seek it out. Obstacles to help-seeking include lack of awareness of mental health services, skepticism about the effectiveness of treatment, prejudices associated with mental illness and uncertainty about costs or insurance coverage. Campuses should engage in a variety of activities designed to increase the likelihood that a student in need will seek help.


Provide mental health and substance abuse services

It is essential to offer accessible, consistent and high-quality mental health services to students. To make mental health and substance abuse care more comprehensive, it should include strong and flexible services, adequate staffing levels and staff diversity reflective of the student population, flexibility in treatment approaches and clinic hours that are reflective of student schedules. Since most college clinics are free, the length of treatment is often limited. Therefore, it is important that campus mental health services can assist students in finding off-campus resources that can provide long-term care if needed.


Follow crisis management procedures

The campus should have access to a well-publicized 24/7 crisis phone and/or chat line either through campus resources or local/national services. There should be a process in place to share information (as legally appropriate) between local ERs and school health and/or counseling services.


Restrict access to potentially lethal means

It has been well established that if the means to self-harm are removed or limited in an environment, it can prevent suicide and even limit accidental deaths. This is called “means restriction.” Limiting students' access to weapons, poisonous chemicals, rooftops, windows or other high places are all means restriction activities. Each campus should do an environmental scan for potential access to lethal or dangerous means.

Overall Timeline

The JED Campus initiative at Quinnipiac is funded by a generous grant from the state of Connecticut. Work through this grant began in the 2022-23 academic year and will continue through the 2025-26 academic year.

Year 1

Completed activities:

  • Assessment
  • Strategic Planning
    • JED reviewed assessment responses and provided feedback
    • JED consultants visited Quinnipiac to discuss feedback with the team and strategies for consideration

Years 2-3

Activities that are underway:

  • Implementation
    • Team and JED collaborating to develop a strategic plan 
    • JED Campus Advisor provides ongoing technical assistance to support implementation of the strategic plan
    • JED Campus Playbook serves as an easy reference guide for team
    • JED Campus tracks and communicates team progress against the strategic plan
  • Learning Community Participation
    • Discussion board conversations provide team opportunities cross-collaborate with other JED Campuses nationwide
    • Webinars provide deeper insight into best practice
    • JED Campus Newsletters inform team about emerging stories, resources and events to strengthen the work being done

Year 4

Future activities:

  • Evaluation
    • Quinnipiac administers the second Healthy Minds Study
    • The team completes the JED Campus post-assessment
    • JED provides a summary analysis report on school progress
  • Sustainability
    • JED offers guidance on continuing the work of the team
    • The team sets goals for future growth and improvement
    • Quinnipiac becomes an alumni of the JED Campus community

JED By the Numbers

370 College Partners

JED Campus has worked with more than 370 colleges and universities across the nation.

4.8M Students Impacted

JED's work with colleges and universities has positively impacted a total of 4.8 million students across the nation.

JED Committee Chairs

JED Campus Committee

Faculty and staff committee:

  • Christine Chew, director of counseling services for Hartford HealthCare’s CampusCare program at Quinnipiac

  • Jason Burke, assistant VP of student experience / executive director of veteran and military affairs

  • Tom Ellett, chief experience officer

  • Gina Frank, dean of graduate student affairs

  • Terri Johnson, associate vice president of operations office of the provost

  • Becca Lucas, office manager for Campus Care, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group 

  • Kristina Lynch, director of CARE

  • Devin Markle, clinical sport psychologist

  • Avery Moses, director of campus life for Fraternity and Sorority Life

  • Kate Palumbo, director of office of student accessibility

  • Reema Panwar, director of institutional research and strategy

  • Tony Reyes, chief of public safety

  • Lisa Scrofani, assistant director of web content strategy

  • Elicia Spearman, general counsel and vice president of human resources

  • Mark Tortora, associate director of education abroad

  • Keith Woodward, associate vice president for facilities

Student representatives:

  • 2023-2024

    • Jacob Cedor, SGA president

    • Mia Lopata, student athlete

    • Melissa Murphy, graduate assistant for health and wellnes

    • Kaitlyn Sternhardt, president of National Alliance on Mental Illness student group

  • 2022-2023

    • Reiven Douglas, student athlete

    • Katie Kelly, graduate assistant for health and wellness

    • Jennifer Martinez, president of National Alliance on Mental Illness student group

    • Owenea Roberts, president of student government association

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