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Norwich University’s Counseling and Wellness Center has been awarded a grant of $88,000 from a private philanthropist working with the JED Foundation to participate in a strategic planning initiative for mental health and suicide prevention on campus through collaboration with “JED Campus” over the next four years.

Norwich was one of six Vermont schools to receive funding, along with Middlebury College, Landmark College, Castleton College, Green Mountain College, and Vermont Technical College. The Jed Foundation (JED) is a leading nonprofit organization that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults through JED Campus. This is a nationwide initiative designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance their policies, programs and systems to help support the emotional well-being of their students and look for ways to reduce suicide and serious substance abuse.

“Having additional support for students who may or may not seek counseling is an important goal of our center,” Director Nicole Krotinger said. “By helping with preventative and psycho-educational materials for our students we would hope they would be better prepared to prosper in life. The online resource center, screening tools, and webinars will be wonderful additions in our ability to reach more students on and off campus.”

The grant is $22,000 over four years. The money pays for a JED campus consultant to work with Norwich’s team and to visit campus; two years of the “Healthy Minds Study” survey administered to students and then evaluated; free webinars offered for staff throughout the four years; and an online resource component for mental health screening tools and psychoeducation for students.

As a “JED Campus,” Norwich will complete a multiyear data-informed strategic plan that enhances the work that is already being done and assesses systems change over time and how that change affects student outcomes, helping to create positive, lasting, and systemic change in the campus community. JED Campus is grounded in an evidence-based model, which is used to assess all efforts underway on campus to identify existing strengths and areas for improvement. This effort will be championed by campus senior leadership and viewed as a campuswide priority, responsibility and shared value.

Norwich University’s Counseling and Wellness Center is assembling a multidisciplinary team of staff, faculty and students to take on this critical endeavor.

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About JED Campus

JED Campus is an initiative of JED designed to guide schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, program and policy development with customized support to build upon existing student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts. JED Campuses embark on a four-year strategic partnership with JED that not only assesses and enhances the work that is already being done, but helps to create positive, systemic change in the campus community

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