Friday, October 17, 2014

Colleges Join Program to Help Prevent Accidents Caused by Substance Abuse
October 16th, 2014/

More than 55 universities and colleges have joined a program designed to help schools prevent the two leading causes of death in young adults—accidents, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning, and suicide.

The Jed & Clinton Health Matters Campus Program will evaluate substance abuse, mental health and suicide prevention programs at the participating institutions, USA Today reports. The colleges have made a four-year commitment to the program. Participants include Cornell, Georgetown, Boston University, Princeton, the University of California, Los Angeles, and New York University.

The Campus Program is a joint initiative of The Jed Foundation and the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Initiative. Schools will take a self-assessment survey on their mental health promotion, substance abuse and suicide preventing programming. The Campus Program team will compare the findings to a comprehensive set of recommended practices. Schools will receive customized feedback and suggestions for improvements, in addition to support with their planning process.

“There’s nothing out there this large and comprehensive that I’m aware of that does this, and including substance abuse is pretty novel as well,” said Greg Eells, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Cornell’s Gannett Health Services.

“The college years are the age when many mental health issues first manifest, and it can be a time of significant stress and pressure,” John MacPhee, Executive Director of The Jed Foundation, said in a news release. “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.”

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