By Daniel Palomo III
University News Service
October 10, 2013
Texas State University was awarded the JedCampus Seal from the Jed Foundation, a leading, non-profit organization that promotes emotional health and suicide prevention. The award recognizes Texas State’s comprehensive mental health programming.
The Jed Foundation was started in 2000 after Donna and Phil Satow lost their son, Jed, to suicide. JedCampus is a program that aims to help universities assess and enhance their mental health services. Texas State was the only school in Texas, and one of only a few public schools, awarded the JedCampus Seal.
“The Jed Foundation is a very prominent suicide prevention and mental health organization,” said Blanca Sanchez-Navarro, assistant director of education programming and outreach for the Texas State counseling center. “They are very well-respected in their efforts.”
Universities voluntarily participate by completing a thorough survey of their campus-wide mental health efforts. The surveys are evaluated by JedCampus mental health professionals based on the recommended practices outlined in the Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention on College and University Campuses developed by the Jed Foundation and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
“We are thrilled to announce the first schools in the nation to receive the JedCampus Seal,” said John MacPhee, executive director of the Jed Foundation. “Texas State demonstrated a holistic, comprehensive approach that is indicative of their time and resources devoted to mental health.”
Sanchez-Navarro was tasked with filling out the survey, which required extensive data from the counseling center and other programs associated with mental health.
“I could not believe the number and depth of the questions,” Sanchez-Navarro said. “I was confident that we would qualify, though, because there were very few things we weren’t doing.”
The counseling center provides students with a plethora of mental health services and collaborates with organizations and classes throughout campus. They also make many presentations throughout the semester and provide training for students and faculty to recognize and assist with mental health illness.
“The counseling center doesn’t just see students in crisis,” Sanchez-Navarro said. “Our first mission is about counseling, but the second mission is about education.”
In addition to the effectiveness of the counseling center, Texas State’s common experience theme, mental health and illness, was a vital piece of programming. The seal is awarded to universities as a whole, not just their counseling centers, MacPhee said.
“The Seal recognizes those universities who have taken their mental health programming quite seriously,” MacPhee said. “We want people to know who they are.”