The Jed Foundation (JED) Unveils New Youth Mental Health Policy Strategies Following Inaugural Policy Summit

JED convened diverse stakeholders in Washington, D.C. to advance youth mental health strategies and systems

November 14, 2023 – NEW YORKThe Jed Foundation (JED), the leading national nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults, has unveiled new youth mental health policy recommendations to address the critical need for systems and structural support across all levels of government. 

The key goal of JED’s mental health policy levers is to advocate for the strategic implementation of targeted interventions and systemic changes, geared towards the enhancement of youth mental health outcomes, accessibility, and support across diverse populations. JED has helped protect the mental health of more than 6.5 million students across the nation through purposeful partnerships with academic institutions and systems. These new priorities are intended to increase that impact and help legislators enact effective system-wide change in the youth mental health space.

“We are proud to introduce JED’s new policy levers that represent a significant step forward in our collective effort to address and scale the impactful initiatives focused on youth mental health,” said Dr. Zainab Okolo, Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Government Relations at JED. “Through evidence-based strategies and a commitment to a promising future for our youth, JED is committed to creating actionable guidelines that help our legislatures ensure their policies are prioritizing the emotional well-being of today’s youth and working to create a promising future for our society as a whole. We remain steadfast in our foundational mission of advancing youth mental health strategies and reshaping discourse in the mental health policy space.“

The JED policy initiatives, include: 

  • Community Engagement: Recognizing and addressing the distinctive requirements of communities; actively engaging youth voices on their own terms.
  • Coalition Building: Creating alliances and fostering collaboration among key stakeholders and partners, both state and federal.
  • Foundational Practices: Establishing fundamental best practices and metrics to ascertain significant outcomes in student mental health.

These will serve as a guide for upcoming policy initiatives, projects and partnerships for JED in 2024, outlining key areas of importance for the organization. 

“We admire The Jed Foundation for their decades-long commitment to promoting meaningful policy change for our country’s young adults and teens.” said Dr. Tom Harnisch, Vice President of Government Relations at The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). “We look forward to applying these new advocacy strategies into our work with state higher education executives and seeing how these guiding principles will ultimately translate in the advancement of mental health policies that support young people.”

The new strategies were released at JED’s inaugural policy retreat, Shifting Student Mental Health from Advocacy to Action, in Washington, D.C. on Monday, October 30. The gathering brought together over 100 key mental health experts, advocates, and allies to sustain the development of a policy environment through fostering collaboration, bolstering stakeholder efforts across the policy landscape, and advancing the cause of mental health within school settings. 

For more information, please visit jedfoundation.org/2023-policy-summit.

About The Jed Foundation (JED)

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.

Connect with JED:  Email | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

Media Contact
Justin Barbo
Director, Public Relations, The Jed Foundation

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