Follett Higher Education and The Jed Foundation Partner to Expand Access to Mental Health Resources for Black Students
Follett commits $25,000 donation to help support mental health initiatives geared toward students of color
WESTCHESTER, IL, and NEW YORK (February 24, 2023) – Follett Higher Education and The Jed Foundation (JED) announced today a new joint initiative designed to help remove barriers to mental health resources for Black youth. Follett has committed $25,000 to JED in support of their work to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults, giving them the skills and support they need to thrive.
Follett’s donation comes on the heels of their larger partnership with JED announced in December of 2022. Since that time, Follett campus stores have collected donations to support JED’s initiatives and featured both in-store and online messaging to share important mental health messages, including the power of having a therapist who shares your background and tips on how to find a counselor.
Throughout Black History Month, Follett has been helping its campus stores highlight services and support available through JED to connect Black youth to mental health resources. Research confirms Black college students are experiencing higher levels of depression and anxiety, which can affect academic performance and student success.
“JED’s track record of encouraging student mental health and wellbeing makes them an exciting partner as Follett seeks new ways to support the whole student. It’s not just about providing the right course materials and school supplies – we must also ensure students have the emotional, social, and physical support necessary to excel in higher education. Particularly during Black History Month, we must acknowledge disparities in access to mental health resources for Black students and ensure we are working to fill those gaps,” said Darryl Atkinson, Group Vice President of Retail and HBCU Support for Follett Higher Education.
“Follett’s purpose-driven culture and impressive campus reach to millions of college students are incredible assets in this partnership,” added John MacPhee, JED’s Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Follett to protect youth mental health and celebrate campus culture.”
For twenty-three years, JED has partnered with schools and colleges to empower young adults by building resiliency and life skills through nationally recognized programs, digital channels, and charitable partnerships.
Throughout February, Follett is also highlighting Black-owned business partners on the company’s external communications channels, including Tones of Melanin, Sacred Heart, Spikes Joint, Pro Standard, Public Figure, and Prideful Patchez. In addition to supporting student mental health, Follett encourages all team members to prioritize their own wellness. All employees and their families can access Follett WorkLife Solutions Employee Assistance Program free of charge, which includes access to 24/7 emotional and financial counseling, crisis intervention with qualified clinicians, and more.
JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.
Director, Public Relations, The Jed Foundation
Follett Higher Education is a leading educational service provider and omnichannel retailer providing students, faculty and staff, parents, and fans the course materials, learning tools and retail services needed to successfully support the academic, athletic, and collegiate journey. Follett Higher Education supports over 6 million students through its 1,100 physical and 1,750 eCommerce collegiate retail stores across North America.
Vice President, Academic Marketing, Follett Higher Education