CSU, Chico News

University Recognized for Campus Mental Health Programs

Date: 01-22-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Brian Reinhardt, Associate Director
Counseling and Wellness Center

California State University, Chico has earned a seal of approval from the Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college and university students.

The University received the JedCampus Seal, which recognizes schools that exhibit comprehensive mental health promotion and suicide prevention programming on campus. The seal is part of the Jed Foundation’s JedCampus program, which helps schools assess and enhance their mental health support system from a campuswide perspective.

To earn the seal, CSU, Chico completed a voluntary, online self-assessment reporting campus mental health and suicide prevention programming. The survey included sections on strategic planning, identifying students at risk, educating gatekeepers, increasing help-seeking behavior, providing mental health services, crisis management procedures, restricting access to potentially lethal means, and developing life skills and promoting social networks. CSU, Chico’s survey response was consistent with the Jed Foundation’s recommended best practices in mental health programming.

The University joins Cornell, Georgetown, Columbia, Princeton and Yale universities in earning the seal. It is the only CSU campus to do so.

“The Jed Seal says we have a comprehensive mental health services program at Chico State,” said CSU, Chico Counseling and Wellness Center Associate Director Brian Reinhardt. “There is always more we can do, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

CSU, Chico offers a range of student mental health programs and services. In 2013, the campus launched WellCat Fit, an eight- to 10-week program that increases students’ access to the mood-boosting effects of exercise by pairing them with a workout “buddy.” Each participant selects a weekly physical activity program to complete with a peer assistant who acts as a supporter and provides guidance. The program is the brainchild of Student Health Services Director Deborah Stewart and has gained national attention in recent months.

The University’s Counseling and Wellness Center provides free psychotherapy to students, including urgent, individual, group and couples counseling. In addition, the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center is a resource on the causes, effects and symptoms of substance abuse, and offers innovative programs like UMatter, promoting positive mental health behaviors, and Red Watch Band, training students to be first responders in substance abuse situations.

Keeping students mentally and emotionally healthy is at the core of the University’s mission to help students achieve their academic and career goals, Reinhardt said. “The more we can assist students now, the more success they will have later in life.”

To learn more about CSU, Chico’s health and wellness services, visit www.csuchico.edu/counseling. For more information about JedCampus, visit www.jedcampus.org.