During the fall semester, Kansas State announced its plans to partner with the JED Foundation to address mental health on campus. Wednesday morning, the first steps of what will be a four year process started with a meeting of campus leaders and representatives from the foundation.
K-State is one of several higher education institutions across the United States that has partnered with the foundation to develop tailored approaches aimed at addressing mental health.
The JED campus team consisted of about 25 individuals made up of students and representatives from university organizations and programs related to student life like Counseling Services and the Student Access Center.
Lee Swain, director of program development at JED, called into the meeting with Erlinda Delacruz, K-State’s JED campus advisor. Delacruz’s background includes work in mental health, student affairs and multicultural affairs.
The majority of the meeting on Wednesday focussed on laying out a timeline for the spring semester and planning a campus visit for Delacruz.
Vice president of Student Life and dean of students Thomas Lane is the leader of the team at K-State. During the meeting, he addressed some issues and questions. The JED Foundation provides a number of training programs for campuses to access. Lane said he believes the programs from JED will be more beneficial than programs he’s seen before.
“The challenge becomes with those programs is the commitment. Oftentimes, it’s an eight hour commitment. The presentations that I was seeing on the JED side, were much shorter in duration, but still lots of good content,” Lane said.
Brent Schneider, psychologist at Counseling Services and Jennifer Miller, director of health promotions at Lafene, are both leading an online survey called Healthy Minds that will randomly sample 6,000 K-State students to create data.
Concerns were floated about whether or not students would just delete the survey if it appeared in their email.
“Even if we’re telling them that it’s going to a really great purpose, and that’s going to benefit the campus as a whole, there’s still that idea of what’s in it for me,” Kristen Schau, junior in political science and sociology, said. “And so I think like offering some sort of incentive would be valuable for like getting the completion that we’re wanting.”
The program will incentivize participation with the potential to win prizes.