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The Jed Foundation, which works to prevent suicide and promote mental wellbeing among young people, seeks to help overcome two fundamental and widespread deficiencies in how the topic is dealt with in the United States. First is the fact that schools have no uniform model for how to prevent suicide on campus, resulting in a spotty patchwork of efforts to proactively address one of the leading causes of death for young people. Second, persistent stigma, shame, and secrecy continue to prevent the open, productive discussion of mental health challenges among students in educational settings.

In addition to resources for families, public awareness efforts, research, and partnerships with major national organizations and social media platforms, the Jed Foundation works with school communities through its JED Campus and JED High School programs. These programs, implemented in a way that is tailored to the needs of each individual partner school, help the schools implement evidence-based best practices in comprehensive mental health support and suicide prevention. Working together with a team of staff and students from the school, the Jed Foundation helps each school put in place a plan to make sure students are socially connected and developing important life skills, that they seek and are offered help when they need it, and that the institution follows crisis management protocols when necessary.

As part of its Global Health Initiative (GHI), the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has supported the Jed Foundation in delivering its model to additional lower-resource schools, expanding it to reach a total of more than 100 high schools and 500 colleges—home to 30% of all college students in the US. In New York, it reaches high schools through a partnership with the City’s School Mental Health Program.

The Jed Foundation was established in 2000 by parents who lost their son Jed to suicide.