The Jed Foundation Launches Proud and Thriving Project to Support the Emotional Well-being and Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Youth

Supported by the Upswing Fund for Mental Health for Adolescents, JED will work with The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals to develop a new framework for high schools and colleges.

NEW YORK, NY—The Jed Foundation (JED) announced today the launch of Proud and Thriving, a new project in partnership with The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals to develop a framework to guide schools in developing, implementing, and refining programs to support the emotional well-being and mental health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ (LGBTQ+) students.

LGBTQ+ high school, college, and university students experience an elevated risk for negative outcomes, as measured by health and academic factors like substance misuse, depression, suicide ideation, academic and co-curricular disengagement, and attrition as compared to non-LGBTQ+ peers. Schools serve as an important environment for academic, social-emotional, and identity development. Therefore, strengthening mental health support systems for LGBTQ+ students is critical, given the central role that schools play in students’ lives. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in many students staying or returning home, has been particularly stressful for LGBTQ+ youth, nearly half of whom report that their families don’t support or know about their gender or sexual identity.

Through its work in secondary and higher education, JED has found that most schools lack an effective, intersectional approach to supporting the mental health of LGBTQ+ students.

“We are excited to get so much support to incorporate research into the development of practical strategies and interventions that schools can use to support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ young people,” said Sofia Pertuz, senior advisor at JED.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Jed Foundation to improve the mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ students,” said Chris Woods, former coordinator for the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. ”We can address barriers to LGBTQ+ inclusive care and mental health service provision by equipping college and university staff and faculty with the resources and knowledge to reimagine and create services and experiences that holistically attend to the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ students.”

Through this project, JED will engage a team with expertise in LGBTQ+ adolescent mental health and program design, implementation, and assessment to develop comprehensive frameworks for high schools, and colleges and universities, that schools can utilize to strengthen systems of support for LGBTQ+ students. Specific recommendations will also be created within each framework for supporting transgender youth. More information about this project can be found here.

About the Consortium for Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals is a member-based organization working towards the liberation of LGBTQ people in higher education. We support individuals who work on campuses to educate and support people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as advocate for more inclusive policies and practices through an intersectional and racial justice framework.

About The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health
The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health is a collaborative fund that provides timely resources to organizations that focus on the mental health and well-being of adolescents who are of color and/or LGBTQ+ in the United States—populations that face urgent needs but too often lack access to the care they need. The Fund is powered by Panorama. For more information, visit www.theupswingfund.org and @theupswingfund on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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.

Learn more at jedfoundation.org.

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

Manuela McDonough
Director, Media Relations

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