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University Partnership Aims To Prevent Leading Causes of Young Adult Deaths

By Elisabeth Wall / ASU News Service

Partnering with The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program (The Campus Program), Appalachian State University has added another action tool to its initiative to support student well-being and mental health.

The program is designed to help schools prevent what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics identify as the two leading causes of death in young adults – unintentional injuries, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning, and suicide.

Appalachian is among the first cohort to join The Campus Program, which 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. 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 is just one more example of Appalachian’s commitment to promoting emotional well-being and improving substance abuse and suicide prevention programming for all students,” Chancellor Sheri N. Everts said. “Keeping Appalachian a welcoming and safe place requires constant vigilance, exploration and innovation. Our community cares and is committed to action, as is the university system. With the leadership of Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Development JJ Brown, Appalachian offers a plethora of opportunities and resources for our Appalachian family.”

“The college years are the age when many mental health issues first manifest, and it can be a time of significant stress and pressure,” said 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.”

“We are thrilled to announce that Appalachian State University is among the first group of schools in the nation to join The Campus Program,” said Rain Henderson, CEO of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, “and to celebrate them for their recognition of mental health as an essential element of student education, development and maturation.”

Elisabeth Cavallaro, suicide prevention program coordinator at Appalachian, said, “The university is excited to be a part of The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program. It is one of many ways that we are working to ensure that our campus is a place where all of our students can thrive. At this university, we are committed to engaging in continuous quality improvement as it relates to the health and wellness of our students, and this is one of many steps we are taking to achieve that.”

Appalachian’s membership in The Campus Program begins with establishing an interdisciplinary, campus-wide Mental Health Working Group 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 and compared to the program’s set of recommended practices. Schools then receive customized feedback and suggestions for enhancements, as well as direct support with their planning process. All survey responses and feedback reports are confidential.

The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program grants a membership seal to all schools that participate in the program.

About The Campus Program

The Campus Program is a nationwide initiative designed to help colleges and universities promote emotional well-being and mental health programming, reduce substance abuse and prevent suicide among their students. When a school becomes a member of The Campus Program, it demonstrates the school’s commitment to assessing and enhancing their mental health promotion and substance abuse and suicide prevention programming for students, families and campus professionals. For more information on The Campus Program, visit http://www.TheCampusProgram.org.

The Campus Program is a joint initiative of The Jed Foundation, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college students, and the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative, which works to improve the health and well-being of people throughout the United States across all generations.

About The Jed Foundation

The Jed Foundation is a leading nonprofit working to protect the emotional health of teenagers and college students. Its programs inspire 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. These programs include: The Jed and Clinton Foundation Health Matters Campus Program, a groundbreaking self-assessment and feedback program that helps colleges create more comprehensive solutions to support their students; ULifeline, an online resource that helps students understand and address mental health conditions like depression and anxiety disorders; the Half of Us campaign, with MTV, which uses online and on-air programming to share stories and encourage help-seeking; the Love is Louder movement that helps individuals, communities and schools build resiliency, create connectedness and promote acceptance;Transition Year, an online resource for parents aimed at helping to ensure a smooth, healthy transition into college life; and a portfolio of resources that helps campuses promote emotional health and protect at-risk students. Learn more at http://www.jedfoundation.org.

About the Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation 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. Because of its work, 20,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 28,000 farmers in Malawi have improved their incomes by more than 500 percent; 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced in cities worldwide; more than 5,000 people have been trained in marketable job skills in Colombia; 8.2 million people have access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications; $200 million in strategic investments have been made, impacting the health of 75 million people in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made nearly 2,900 Commitments to Action to improve more than 430 million lives around the world. The Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) works to improve the health and well-being of people throughout the United States across all generations. Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org.

About Appalachian
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.