Model for Comprehensive Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities

The JED model is a comprehensive, public health approach to promoting emotional well-being and preventing suicide and serious substance misuse that includes:

  • Develop Life Skills
  • Promote Social Connectedness
  • Identify Students at Risk
  • Increase help-seeking behavior
  • Restrict access to potentially lethal means
  • Follow crisis management procedure
  • Provide mental health and substance abuse services

« Go to JED Foundation website

The Model for Comprehensive Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities can be used to assess efforts currently underway on campus in order to  identify existing strengths and areas for improvement.

JED’s Comprehensive Approach is drawn primarily from the overall strategic direction of the United States Air Force (USAF) Suicide Prevention Program, a population-based strategy to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors for suicide (Knox et al., 2003). The JED Comprehensive Approach is also based on what is known about how to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors for mental health and suicide among adolescents, college students, and the general population; an understanding of the student mental health problems that campuses face; and existing recommended practices.

Two guiding principles form the foundation of JED Campus.  First, support for emotional well-being and prevention of suicide and serious substance misuse must be seen as a campus-wide responsibility.  No longer can these issues fall solely, or primarily, to the health and counseling centers.  While those offices have an important role to play, it is the responsibility of everyone on campus to promote and protect the mental health of the student body.

Second, these efforts that promote emotional health, suicide prevention and substance misuse prevention must have support from leaders on campus.  It is imperative that senior leadership, including the President and Board of Trustees, not only acknowledge the importance of supporting student mental health and well-being, but make this work a priority and shared value for the entire campus community.