OSUIT to Join National Student Mental and Physical Health Initiative

OSUIT to Join National Student Mental and Physical Health Initiative

Sara Plummer
OSUIT to Join National Student Mental and Physical Health Initiative

OSU Institute of Technology has announced that it is joining The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program in support of student well-being and mental health. The program is designed to help schools prevent the two leading causes of death in young adults according to the Center for Disease Control— unintentional injuries, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning, and suicide.

OSUIT is among the first 55 schools to join The Campus Program, which is designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming. Participating schools make a four-year commitment to work with The Campus Program to evaluate and identify opportunities to augment these activities on campus.

The Campus Program provides schools with a framework for supporting student mental health, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports and ongoing technical assistance from The Campus Program team. Membership in The Campus Program demonstrates OSUIT’s commitment to promoting emotional well-being and improving substance abuse and suicide prevention programming for all students. The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program grants a membership seal to all schools that participate in the program.

Dr. Ina Agnew, vice president of student services at OSUIT, said professional organizations like the National Institute for Mental Health are finding students entering college are displaying higher levels of stress, anxiety, eating disorders and other issues, and OSUIT is no different.

“Becoming a part of The Campus Program enables us to access best practices in serving students, potential resources, and opportunities for professional development,” Agnew said. “By identifying ways to strengthen our services, students benefit by having the support and resources they need to cope with the challenges they face while in college. The university benefits from serving students, potentially helping some remain in college who might otherwise drop out.”

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

“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,” MacPhee said. “We believe that the implementation of a campuswide approach to mental health will lead to safer, healthier campuses, and likely greater student retention.”

OSUIT’s membership in The Campus Program begins with university officials taking a confidential, self-assessment survey on the school’s mental health promotion, substance abuse, and suicide prevention programming. When completed, survey responses are reviewed by The Campus Program team in comparison to the program’s framework—a comprehensive set of recommended practices. Schools then receive customized feedback and suggestions for enhancements, as well as direct support with their planning process. All survey responses and feedback reports are confidential.

“We are thrilled to announce that OSUIT is among the first group of schools in the nation to join The Campus Program and to celebrate them for their recognition of mental health as an essential element of student education, development and maturation,” said Rain Henderson, CEO of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative.

For more on The Campus Program, visit TheCampusProgram.org.