Introducing: UNC Flourish
Sometimes it seems stress is everywhere. In fact, when UNC’s Office of Health Promotion surveyed students this past spring, students reported the top conditions that negatively affected their academic performance in the past year were stress (40%); anxiety (36%); depression (26%); and sleep difficulties (21%). In the same survey, nearly half of UNC Bears reported experiencing loneliness and feeling left out.
While these numbers tell an important story about the student experience, these data do not fully tackle the issue.
UNC Flourish is a new campaign that invests in improving student well-being, and we invite you to play your part. This campaign is rooted in meaningful connections, engagement and belonging. UNC Flourish is a campaign that reminds us it’s OK to be stressed, it’s OK to get help and it’s possible to feel better. UNC Flourish challenges us all to take care of ourselves and to take care of one another.
UNC Flourish is an outcome of UNC’s two-year engagement with the JED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to young adult mental health. Each month, a UNC steering committee meets and reflects on student mental health and how it can leverage resources to support student well-being.
By becoming a JED Campus, the University of Northern Colorado is committed to enhancing its mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention policies, systems and programs.
JED Campus is a signature program of The Jed Foundation (JED) that is designed to guide schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, program, and policy development with customized support to build upon existing student mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention efforts. UNC is embarking on a strategic partnership with JED to create further positive, systemic change in the campus community.
A commitment to the emotional wellbeing of our students
By joining the JED Campus program, the University of Northern Colorado is demonstrating a commitment to the emotional wellbeing and mental health of its students and the entire campus community. The JED Campus program takes a comprehensive, public health approach to promote emotional well-being and prevent suicide and serious substance abuse.
The programs and resources recommended through the JED programs have been developed with an equitable implementation lens that ensures that the needs of students who are potentially marginalized and/or underserved due to societal and structural inequities and school-specific community demographics are considered deliberately and intentionally. To promote student mental health equitably and effectively, and to reduce risk, schools must take care to learn about, understand, and plan for the needs of students whose mental health may be impacted by bias, racism, and marginalization.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, we are collecting data through surveys, audits, and focus groups. This self-assessment will help us to identify our campus strengths and areas of improvement in seven (7) areas identified by JED as key elements to mental health promotion and suicide prevention.
Through our partnership, UNC will:
- Collaborate with our JED Campus team to look for opportunities to enhance emotional health and wellbeing on our campus.
- Complete the JED Campus self-assessment and conduct an in-depth, confidential Healthy Minds Survey among students.
- Participate in a full-day campus visit with our JED Campus team to develop a strategic plan tailored to UNC’s individual needs that will serve as a roadmap to implement enhancements over the course of the program.
- Receive ongoing consultation, support, and guidance from our JED Campus Advisor.
- Engage with the JED Campus Learning Community – a network of JED Campus schools - to share information on specific topics of interest that emerge from the community’s work with JED, as well as have access to an in-depth, online resource library.
JED Campus Strategic Plan Progress
- JED provides feedback report for Healthy Mind Study (HMS) results
- JED campus visit
- Team and JED collaborate to develop a strategic plan
- UNC builds an interdisciplinary team, inclusive of senior leadership, to steer efforts across campus
- Administer the Healthy Minds Study
- Team completes JED Campus baseline self-assessment
Year 2 and 3
- JED provides ongoing assistance to support strategic plan
- JED tracks and communicates team progress against strategic plan
Year 2 and 3
- Collaborate with other JED campuses nationwide
- Receives access to professional development tools to strengthen work being done
- JED and Team set future goals for growth, improvement, and sustainability
- Administer 2nd HMS
- Complete post-assessment
- JED provides executive summary of accomplishments and outcomes
Sub-Committees & Working Groups
Equity in Mental Health
The Equity in Mental Health (EMH) sub-committee is guided by the EMH Framework proposed by the JED Foundation and Steve Fund, as well as the Rowing not Drifting 2030 plan's dedication to Empowering Inclusivity. Our goal is to develop and strengthen effective approaches for promoting and supporting the emotional well-being and mental health of students of color, students with underrepresented and marginalized identities.
Student Outreach & Engagement
The Student Outreach & Engagement (SOE) sub-committee explores ways to increase student engagement, connectedness, and belonging via peer-to-peer programs, transitional supports (e.g., around matriculation), screening programs, outreach events, resources, and education.
Mental Health Training
The Mental Health Training sub-committee is charged with reviewing existing mental health and substance use training programs for faculty, staff, and students and making recommendations for expansion and enhancements. Domains for training include both gatekeeper and mental health first aid training (e.g., when and how to make referrals to care) and substance use issues affecting students, including opioid overdose and naloxone.