COVID-19 Tips and Updates

May 21, 2020

JED Community,

With young people experiencing an upheaval to their lives and routines brought on by the coronavirus, many may be feeling unsure about how to start a conversation with a friend.

“Whatever Gets You Talking,” is a new music video to help provide the inspiration, language, and tools to check in with your friends and support their mental health.


Featuring rapper Akinyemi, pop icon Meghan Trainor, and music and digital stars Addison Rae, Avery Cyrus, Bryce Xavier, James Henry, The McFarlands, Molly Burke, mxmtoon, and brothers Zach Valentine and Pat Ramirez, “Whatever Gets You Talking” speaks directly to young people who might be looking for a way to reach out to a friend about their mental health. It brings to life countless conversation starters and ways to reach out, and emphasizes that just because we’re physically distant doesn’t mean teens and young adults should remain socially distant.

The video is part of Seize the Awkward, JED’s campaign in partnership with the Ad Council and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that teens and young adults #SeizeTheAwkward and reach out to connect with their communities. Share this video with the young people in your life and encourage them to check in with their friends.

Take care,
The JED Team

P.S. Seize the Awkward has resources for maintaining mental health during coronavirus. Check it out.

COVID-19 Tips and Updates

You are not alone, and help is always available. Get immediate support 24/7. Reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting SEIZE to 741741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Find more information and resources at jedfoundation.org/help.

May 3, 2020

JED Community,

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our JED Campus team has been working closely with schools across the country to provide real-time guidance and support, giving us a first-hand look into how the pandemic is impacting students’ lives.

Today, millions of young people are adjusting to isolation, feelings of grief and loss around missed milestones, and more. They’re reporting especially high levels of anxiety and uncertainty.

Recognizing this urgent need, a generous donor has agreed to match every donation through May 5. Please make a gift now and have twice the impact.

Members of JED’s community are reaching out to us in record numbers for information, training, resources, and support to help navigate these uncertain times. To meet the growing need, we are innovating and adapting to help teens and young adults get through this unprecedented time while also maintaining a sense of hope about their futures.

Please consider making a gift right now. Your support today will be doubled — and go to work immediately to support the mental health of our nation’s teens and young adults.


John MacPhee
Executive Director

April 18, 2020

JED Community,

The sudden changes brought on by the current pandemic are challenging for students, but also for families. Adapting to remote learning environments can be tough. The Jed Foundation (JED) will offer a free webinar to share expert strategies and advice for managing stress, and helping caregivers help themselves and their children.

On Wednesday, April 22 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. EDT, join us for Parenting During the Pandemic: Challenges, Strategies, and Tips for Empowering Families of Teens. JED’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sofia B. Pertuz, Ph.D. will host the webinar. She will be joined by three panelists who will share their expertise and helpful advice on navigating the “new normal”:

  • Anne Marie Albano, Ph.D., ABPP, Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry and Founder of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety in New York
  • Ali Mattu, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Cristina Melendez, Ed.D., CEO of Beyond Limits Consulting, LLC

We hope to see you on Wednesday, April 22 as we discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of remote learning and supporting our children during this time. Register now. Please feel free to share with anyone who may be interested.

The JED Team

April 14, 2020

JED Community,

As we navigate the new normal and reshape our lives, it can be difficult to process what is happening each day. Our concerns and emotions may feel hard to identify, much less manage. Our lives have changed drastically, and with that can come a sense of loss for what we knew.

While traditionally the feelings of grief are usually paired with the loss of a loved one, we can have feelings of grief when we have any type of loss. The stages or feelings of grief do not occur linearly, and there are many manifestations.

Acknowledging how you feel is one of the first steps to healing. Learn more about how the coronavirus has generated more feelings of loss and ways to navigate the grief.

We know that things are different now and will be different in the days to come. Teens and young adults may be experiencing grief associated with not only losing a loved one during this time but also:

  • The loss of seeing their friends and loved ones
  • Major changes in the way they expected the spring to go and missing out on spring events
  • The loss of graduation and celebrations
  • The loss of career opportunities
  • The loss of what their day to day looked like and felt like

Even though the situation is open-ended, it is temporary. By recognizing and understanding the signs of grief in ourselves and each other, we can support one another. For more insight on the grief we may be feeling, how to manage it, and the meaning we can find in it, check out this interview with David Kessler, an expert on grief.

Kessler recommends several ways of managing grief:

  • Find balance in the things you are thinking.
  • Come into the present moment.
  • Let go of what you can’t control.
  • Exercise an abundance of compassion.

Here are more resources on supporting ourselves and each other through grief:

  • The Child Mind Institute’s guide for helping children cope with trauma
  • Lifeline’s tool kit for coping with sorrow, loss, and grief
  • Health Care Toolbox’s resource for helping your child cope during COVID-19
  • Article by the American Psychological Association on grief and COVID-19

If you are feeling loss and grief right now, you are not alone. Acknowledging how we feel can help us begin to accept change. Seeking support can start the healing process. Don’t forget the power of reaching out and connecting with someone you can talk to as well as mental health professionals who are able to help you through this.

Take care,
The JED Team

April 7, 2020

JED Community,

The rapid changes and unpredictable outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic can cause stress and worry, particularly for teens and young adults who have had their school experience change abruptly. We’ve compiled resources for parents and high school professionals so they can help their students maintain mental and emotional health while continuing to focus on their studies.

COVID-19 Tips and Updates

Set To Go helps prepare and guide teenagers through the transition from high school to college and beyond through a set of comprehensive, online resources:

  • The Right Fit Quiz helps students, counselors, and families think in-depth about whether a particular school is a good ‘fit’ for a student from an academic, emotional, and personal preference standpoint.
  • Primarily written for students with diagnosed mental health conditions and their families, the Transition of Care Guide covers important considerations related to the transition of mental and physical healthcare from home to college.
  • In collaboration with CommonLit, JED produced 5 online lessons that have been adapted from the Set To Go platform to be shared in classrooms across the country. Help your students learn all about emotions, self-image, self-care, life skills, help-giving, and resilience.
  • With Text, Talk, Set to Go, juniors and seniors can prepare to get Set to Go. The program delivers conversation prompts via text to help small groups explore a variety of topics in preparation for college. This activity has been modified to allow students to participate remotely.

Additional mental health resources to help students cope with stress and worry:

  • JED’s Love is Louder Action Center provides resources and tips for taking care of physical and mental health, and supporting each other during this time of uncertainty.
  • In collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Ad Council, the Seize the Awkward campaign is targeted at teens and young adults, and emphasizes the importance of checking in with a friend if you are concerned about their emotional well-being.
  • The Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress, part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, has released new materials in the Health Care Toolbox for families about managing the stress and psychological impact of COVID-19.

WE Schools, a series of service-learning programs developed by the WE movement, has launched the following resources in response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Live with WE Schools (K-12): Hour-long classes, Monday to Friday, featuring mixed educational content for all age ranges, including book clubs, curricula, inspiring service stories, Q&A sessions with special guests, such as medical health professionals, and uplifting content, such as music.
  • WE Well-being Resources: In collaboration with leading mental health experts, these resources are designed to equip youth, families, and partners with tools to support well-being, curb anxiety, build resiliency, and practice self-care.
  • WE Well-being Playbook: Available for free download. The playbook is being updated with specific sections to include tips for creating a sense of community and belonging during a time of isolation.
COVID-19 Tips and Updates

With support and connection, we can all help each other maintain emotional and mental balance as we move through this challenging time together.

Stay well,
The JED team

April 6, 2020

JED Community,

Seniors across the country are coming to terms with a sudden and dramatic change to how they expected to conclude their final school year. Graduation plans have shifted and the end of the semester will likely be spent away from in-person contact with friends and teachers.

We asked our JED Student Ambassadors to share some thoughts on how seniors might be feeling along with some words of encouragement.

COVID-19 Tips and Updates

As a senior who was supposed to graduate, how do you suggest your fellow students stay connected and productive during this time?

  • Create a Facebook group with your closest friends and everyone can post updates on their lives during the self-quarantine and for beyond graduation. – Audrey, Middlebury College
  • Work on your resume (something I’ve been putting off!). – Jessica, Pace University
  • Stay in touch with student leadership or government and suggest ways to stay connected as a class, such as class fundraisers. – Henry, Harvard University
  • Reach out to the school administration to advocate for graduation postponement. – Henry
  • Stay in contact with campus career advisors (schedule Zoom meetings). – Henry
  • For those who are still taking online classes, try and connect with others in the class through virtual meetings and continue to have active conversations with professors and TAs. – Henry
  • Stay connected with professors and mentors. I have found a lot of comfort in keeping up with those relationships. – Jen, Bucknell University
  • Talk to your friends about how you are feeling; it helps to strengthen that sense of community when you know you are all going through it together. – Jen
  • Work on a group project with your friends to commemorate all the time you have spent together during college. I created a Google Photos Album, and my friends and I are adding all of our photos. We will be creating a video to bring it all together. – Audrey
Get Help Now

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text, call, or chat 988 for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7. 

You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.