JED and AASA Form Exclusive Partnership to Develop Comprehensive Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Approach for Districts Nationwide

[April 11, 2023-Alexandria, Virginia and New York, New York] The Jed Foundation (JED) and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, are pleased to announce a multi-year initiative to develop and deploy a comprehensive approach to mental health and suicide prevention for school districts. 

The District Comprehensive Approach will provide pre-K–12 school districts across the nation with an evidence-based framework—combined with expert support, best practices, and data-driven guidance—to protect mental health and prevent suicide for millions of students. 

This collaboration establishes a new national framework and exemplifies the significance school district leaders are placing on their students’ emotional health. The groundbreaking initiative combines JED’s decades of nationwide experience protecting emotional health and preventing suicide for more than 500+ high schools, colleges, and universities with AASA’s 150-year commitment to serving public education and school district leadership.

“AASA is devoted to providing high-quality public school education to all students. To elevate our mission, we have partnered with JED on this transformative mental health initiative,” said AASA Executive Director David R. Schuler. “By addressing mental health disparities in our school communities, we can help change the lives of countless students and, as a result, improve the future of our country’s public education system—and our entire nation.”

“We are thrilled to partner with AASA on the creation and national implementation of this critical framework to reduce suicide and support student mental health,” said JED President and Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Benghiat. “We believe the District Comprehensive Approach will offer an effective roadmap and tools for our nation’s educational leaders as they navigate the complex challenges and opportunities of supporting our nation’s children and their school communities.”

Children spend almost all their time in schools, making them an effective environment to improve our youth mental health epidemic meaningfully. Research confirms that implementing comprehensive mental health systems improves student well-being and mental health outcomes while strengthening school climate and safety. With suicide as the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34 in the United States and parents citing mental health as a top concern for their children under 18, creating school environments that support children’s mental health is critical.

The District Comprehensive Approach derives from the evidence-based High School Comprehensive Approach. Through this framework, school districts will ensure that existing systems support the mental health of—and reduce suicide risk for—all students.

Sign up to receive updates on AASA and JED’s work on mental health and the District Comprehensive Approach.

About The Jed Foundation

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.

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Media Contact
Justin Barbo
Director, Public Relations
The Jed Foundation
(914) 844-4611

 About AASA, The School Superintendents Association
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education.

Media Contact
James Minichello
Director, Communications & Public Relations
AASA, The School Superintendents Association                                                                              
(703) 774-6953

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