Psychological Counseling Center meets gold standard for suicide prevention
Brandeis among 30 colleges to receive a 'seal of approval' for mental health resources
Brandeis University has been awarded the JedCampus Seal from The Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college and university students. The seal recognizes schools that exhibit comprehensive mental health promotion and suicide prevention programming on campus.
Brandeis is among the first schools in the nation to receive the seal, part of the foundation’s JedCampus program, the first nationwide program to facilitate a school’s ability to assess and enhance their mental health support system from a campus-wide perspective.
“The Jed Foundation is the number one clearinghouse for suicide prevention on college campuses in the country,” says Dr. Michael LaFarr, Associate Director of the Psychological Counseling Center. “So we are thrilled to receive such an honor.”
Brandeis’ mental health center treats 700-750 students each year, primarily for anxiety and depression, says LaFarr, explaining that some major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia tend to emerge in late adolescence through early adulthood. Changes in the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 have allowed some people with mental illness to have access to higher education which they may not have had otherwise. All of these factors make it imperative for colleges like Brandeis to maintain the gold standard in suicide prevention programs, LaFarr says.
“The Psychological Counseling Center works very hard with our many colleagues from across campus to promote wellness in our community,” LaFarr adds.
Brandeis took a voluntary, online self-assessment reviewing campus mental health and suicide prevention programming. The Jed Foundation then compared the school’s responses to the recommended practices developed by The Jed Foundation and Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Brandeis received confidential feedback designed to help enhance its programming and resources. The seal is valid for two years.
“Schools like Brandeis University have shown they employ a comprehensive, community-based approach to mental health care which will result in the identification of and care for more at-risk students,” says John MacPhee, Executive Director of The Jed Foundation.
The Jed Foundation only publicly recognizes those schools awarded the seal. Names, survey responses and feedback reports of those schools that do not receive a seal are confidential. If the self-assessment survey revealed gaps in programming, colleges and universities were invited to work closely with The Jed Foundation to address them. Those schools can reapply for the JedCampus seal after one year.
Leading higher education and mental health professional organizations, including the American College Counseling Association, American College Health Association, National Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, among others, have provided statements of support for the JedCampus initiative.