Uniting for Youth: Insights From the JED Policy Summit on Student Mental Health
By Rebecca Bauer On October 30, 2023, more than 100 mental health experts, advocates, and allies gathered in Washington, D.C., for the JED Policy Summit: ...
Rachel Butler, Branching Minds
Branching Minds is excited to partner with The Jed Foundation (JED) to bring essential resources to high school classrooms through the Branching Minds Support Library. Informed by direct research with high school students about what they need as they graduate, these new support cards offer concrete tips, tools, and resources on a comprehensive range of topics to help students manage the transition out of high school. Carefully curated and evidence-based, these resources provide teachers and students with accessible and actionable advice to aid in this critical, exciting, and challenging transition.
All educators understand that this is a critical time to support student mental health, but here are just a few of the statistics that compelled Branching Minds to partner with The Jed Foundation (JED) to provide resources to high school students to help them prioritize their emotional well-being and get the help they need and deserve.
JED is committed to lowering these numbers.
JED has identified areas critical to helping teens and young adults manage their mental health, including:
Based on these identified skill areas, JED and Branching Minds collaborated to develop interventions geared toward high school students. The resources were designed intentionally for secondary teachers to include opportunities for the students to practice skills in a variety of settings and methods. The interventions are adaptable and enable educators to decide how and when to use the provided resources or elect to leave out or adjust portions in order to meet their students’ needs.
It is recommended that teachers work through the JED lessons with the whole class, but they can also be used with smaller groups of students who need additional support. While working in these groups, teachers can provide more explicit instruction, encouragement, specific feedback, positive reinforcement, and careful scaffolding.
These resources can be further leveraged through the inclusion of school guidance counselors, making use of all possible activities in the cards, and inviting students to explore topics more deeply through JED’s Mental Health Resource Center, which includes a section devoted to managing life transitions.
It is our hope that these resources will offer much-needed support to your students, foster critical conversations about emotional well-being and life transitions, create community around the shared experience of entering young adulthood, and inspire students to make the choices and find the resources that will best support the future they want.
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.