Community College To Join ‘JED Campus’ in Support of Student Mental Health

WEST BARNSTABLE – Cape Cod Community College has become the first community college in Massachusetts to partner with the JED Foundation on an initiative to improve mental health services on campus.

The partnership is a result of a grant obtained via the Tower Foundation.

The “JED Campus” program is designed to help schools evaluate and strengthen their mental health, substance misuse and suicide prevention programs and systems to ensure that schools have the strongest possible mental health safety nets.

CCCC has committed to developing a multi-year strategic collaboration that will assess and enhances work already being done. The partnership is also expected to help create positive, lasting, systemic change in the campus community.

“We’re super excited. What happened was we made an application to the JED Foundation, and they have an initiative called the JED Campus. Basically, they partner with colleges across the U.S. for four years to help build a collaborative process of systems, policies and programs, and we develop them with the help of the JED Campus so we can build upon the existing mental health services that we have as well as substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts,” said CCCC Recovery and Wellness Coordinator Maura Weir.

“They are a national best-practice outfit and they have partnered with us so we can do those best practices at the community college. It’s super exciting because we are the first community college in Massachusetts to do that.”

The program provides schools with a framework for supporting student mental health, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports, a strategic plan, and ongoing support from the JED Campus team.

“Our goal is to provide effective supports to our students, and demonstrate that our commitment to them extends beyond academics. We acknowledge that student wellbeing is critical to success and we want them to feel that sense of genuine care when they are on our campus,” said CCCC Director of Advising and Counseling Lauren Folloni.

“We are excited to build on the good work we are already doing by utilizing the data and feedback available to us as a JED Campus.”

CCCC’s membership in JED Campus began with establishing an interdisciplinary, campus-wide team to assess, support and implement improvements to programs, policies and systems.

The team was also tasked with completing a confidential, self-assessment survey on the mental health promotion, substance abuse, and suicide prevention efforts at CCCC’s. Upon completion of the assessment, JED Campus provides schools with a comprehensive feedback report identifying successes and opportunities for enhancements.

“The Jed Campus starts out with an assessment on the campus of what do we already have, what already exists, and what leadership do we need to have involved,” said Weir.

“We did our own self-assessment of the college as it stands presently, and that was with a whole bunch of faculty, staff and students that were invited to say what we had and didn’t have. We sent that back to JED Campus and they kind of do an environmental scan of the gaps we might be missing.” 

Over the course of four years, CCCC will collaborate with JED to help implement enhancements. All self-assessment responses and feedback reports are confidential. 

For more information about JED Campus, visit www.jedcampus.org.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center 

About Tim Dunn

Tim Dunn is a native of south coast Massachusetts, growing up in the small town of Mattapoisett and now resides in New Bedford. He’s worked in the CapeCod.com News Center covering everything you need to know about on the Cape.



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