The Jed Foundation Receives Rite Aid Healthy Futures Grant to Expand Its
Transformative Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative for School Districts
[May 8, 2023 – Etters, Pennsylvania and New York City] – The Jed Foundation (JED) is among six leading youth mental health organizations to receive a new $1.25 million grant from Rite Aid Healthy Futures. The grant was created through its Empowering Children signature initiative, which aims to support youth as they unlock their full potential and go on to thrive.
JED has been awarded $250,000 to support its recently announced partnership with AASA, The School Superintendents Association. The funding will enable JED and AASA to engage school districts across the country, starting in Detroit and rural Ohio, through a comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention approach. This multi-year initiative evolved from JED’s evidence-based High School Comprehensive Approach, prompting the design of the District Comprehensive Approach for preK-12 school districts after both organizations recognized the growing need to support students. Through this framework, school districts will implement a durable approach to mental health and suicide prevention planning that follows recommended practices, reducing the risk for millions of young people.
“No other organizations are reaching students at this scale to provide the mental health support they need, and we are thrilled that Rite Aid Healthy Futures recognizes the value and critical need for this work to positively impact the lives of children, teens, and young adults,” said Rebecca Benghiat, President and Chief Operating Officer at JED. “Many school districts are under-resourced, and their leaders wear many hats in order to support their students in any way they can. Having an equitable framework in place for our academic leaders, such as the District Comprehensive Approach, will serve as a transformative tool for young people’s continued well-being.”
Rite Aid Healthy Futures’ generous donation comes at a critical time for students across the country. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22% of high school students seriously considered suicide in 2021 while 18% made a suicide plan and 10% attempted suicide. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 34 in the United States, and parents often cite mental health as a top concern for their children under 18.
Children spend almost all of their time in schools, creating a critical opportunity to address this mental health epidemic. Researchers have confirmed the efficacy of implementing comprehensive mental health systems in schools, which have been shown to improve student well-being and mental health outcomes while strengthening school climate and safety.
“Mental health represents a public health crisis and social justice issue for this generation. Our collective response will be a defining moment for our nation and our children,” said Matt DeCamara, Executive Director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “Connecting young people of all backgrounds with appropriate health care resources is not just essential, it’s lifesaving. By working together with JED, we can ensure kids everywhere have healthier tomorrows.”
Additional charitable contributions were made by Rite Aid Healthy Futures to The Steve Fund, McLean Hospital, Active Minds, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and The Trevor Project.
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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About Rite Aid Healthy Futures
Rite Aid Healthy Futures, formerly known as The Rite Aid Foundation, is a public charity dedicated to driving change in communities, with an emphasis on underserved neighborhoods, focusing on the areas of health, wellness, race and equity. Together with our donors, Rite Aid associates, community partners and neighbors, we help lift up local neighborhoods by donating more than $15 million a year to causes, initiatives and organizations that make a difference in people’s lives. Healthy Futures is proud to be affiliated with Rite Aid, which provides an array of whole-being health products and services for the entire family through over 2,000 retail pharmacy locations across 17 states. Visit www.RiteAidHealthyFutures.org to learn more.
Director, Public Relations
The Jed Foundation
Rite Aid Healthy Futures
(717) 649-2437 (Text messages OK)
Rite Aid Healthy Futures
(267) 576-2460 (Text messages OK)