A nonprofit and an education technology innovator are collaborating to develop a new course that will address concerns of student safety, emotional health, and wellness.
The Jed Foundation and EVERFI have co-developed the Mental Well-Being for Students course, which will give additional support to colleges and universities to provide students with the tools and resources needed to overcome mental health challenges.
The partnership assumes importance in the backdrop of increasing suicide rates among teenage youth. According to a new study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people ages 15 to 19, especially males, are increasingly attempting suicide. The suicide rate increased in 2017 to its highest point since 2000.
In the 15 to 19 age range, the suicide rate was 11.8 per 100, 000 in 2017 in comparison to 8 per 100 ,000 in 2000.
“Mental Well-Being for Students helps young adults prioritize mental health by offering tools and resources to help recognize and manage concerns, and find support for themselves and their peers,” John MacPhee, executive director and chief executive officer of JED, said.
The 45-minute course, comprised of four modules, aims to introduce strategies for approaching challenges including self-management, self-advocacy, and building a support system, and empower learners to support peers in crisis situations. It will also connect learners with campus-based support and local resources.
A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that 70 percent of U.S. teens, ages 13 to 17, believe that anxiety and depression are major problems among people their age in the communities where they live.
61 percent of students cited getting good grades as a major cause of pressure. Another 29 percent felt pressure to look good, 28 percent to fit in socially, and 21 percent see being good at sports as a cause of pressure.
Beginning this fall, the course will be available at two- and four-year higher education institutions.