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JED Initiative and Campus Resources

The University of Tennessee has partnered with JED to ensure the mental health and wellbeing of all students during their time here. This partnership focuses on supporting current mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention efforts.

What is a JED Campus?

JED Campus logoJED is a nonprofit organization that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults. JED partners with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems.

JED uses proprietary assessments to help understand each school’s programs, systems and challenges. The JED Campus team then works with the school to develop a mental health strategic plan.

JED Strategic Plan for the University of Tennessee

Recommendations from JED identified 14 important areas of action for the University of Tennessee to focus on. UT faculty, students, and professional staff formed working groups led by members of the JED Steering Committee to address each area. The University of Tennessee will take the following steps to further support mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention efforts.

  • Implement campaigns to educate the campus community about the links between physical and emotional health and academic success
  • Offer or enhance comprehensive programming on the effects of lifestyles choices on wellness (e.g. adequate sleep, exercise, nutrition, etc.)
  • Offer or enhance programming and/or groups

  • Develop or enhance programs and activities to promote inclusion of disconnected/isolated students on campus
  • Develop proactive Action Steps to help identify disconnected/isolated students
  • Offer or enhance programs, activities, and campaigns to promote tolerance and inclusiveness on campus.
  • Establish defined spaces in student unions and/or other public areas for student groups to meet

  • Educate families of incoming students regarding mental health and substance use resources and services on campus

  • Provide and publicize screening tools for depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders on the counseling and/or health education websites
  • Implement screening/wellness days focused on substance use and common mental health issues on a regular basis

  • Develop/refine a protocol for reporting students of concern
  • Train students to identify, reach out to, and refer their friends/peers who may be struggling with mental health or substance issues
  • Develop, expand, or strengthen gatekeeper-training program for relevant campus faculty and staff in identifying, reaching out to, and referring students who may be struggling

  • Implement campaigns/programs to encourage help-seeking by de-stigmatizing mental health and substance abuse problems on campus
  • Cross-reference or link the counseling center, health services, and health education websites
  • Ensure that counseling and health center websites are easily accessible for students

  • Develop or refine resources to educate students and families in making informed decisions when choosing a health insurance plan

  • Establish a central office to administer all leaves
  • Ensure that all leave policies are transparent and easily accessible to the campus community
  • Develop/refine a written return from leave protocol that is consistent with JED Campus recommendations
  • Develop/refine a written mandatory leave of absence policy that is consistent with JED Campus recommendations
  • Develop/refine a written medical leave of absence policy that is consistent with JED Campus recommendations

  • Collect data on student utilization and incidents on campus related to mental health/substance abuse
  • Establish a system for coordination of care for shared patients between relevant campus service providers
  • Evaluate the staff to student ratio to adequately address the clinical needs of students

  • Develop or refine MOUs with local services
  • Provide resources to manage after-hours care/emergency situations
  • Implement Action Steps to limit wait lists/wait times
  • Provide counseling services in alternative locations on campus
  • Offer clinical services outside of typical business hours

  • Develop/refine policies and protocols that ensure safe and effective prescription of opiates, tranquilizers (benzodiazepines and sleep medicines) and stimulants by including federal guidelines and expectations for prescribers/clinicians and students around medication management
  • Implement messaging campaigns designed to educate students about the risks and dangers of opiate misuse, including the effects with other substances
  • Implement strategically timed messaging campaigns to remind students about the risks and consequences of substance use/misuse

  • Ensure that postvention protocol is periodically reviewed by relevant campus constituents in order to refresh everyone?s understanding of their role
  • Ensure postvention protocol is easily accessible to relevant campus constituents

  • Develop 24/7 crisis phone (and/or chat line) through campus resources or local/national services
  • Promote information about how to report/get help for an emergency for both daytime and after-hours

  • Conduct an annual campus environmental scan to identify and mitigate access to lethal means
  • Implement drug collection/drug return programs for prescription medications on campus

Suicide Prevention at UT

UT System Suicide Prevention Plan

College Students and Suicide Resource