NAU shines a light on mental health by becoming a JED Campus

Sept. 10, 2019

Northern Arizona University announced this week that it has completed JED Campus, a program of The Jed Foundation (JED)—a four-year process of policy and program review to prevent suicide and ensure students have the resources needed to strengthen their mental health.

JED is a nonprofit organization that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults. JED equips people with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other by partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse and suicide prevention programs and systems.

JED Campus is a signature program of JED that guides higher education institutions through a collaborative, four-year process of comprehensive systems, program and policy development with customized support. Having completed JED Campus, NAU will entrust its interdisciplinary, campuswide mental health task force of staff, faculty and students with sustaining the work initiated by the program.

“Being part of the JED Campus program has allowed us to take a very comprehensive look at mental health on campus,” said Melissa Griffin, director of Health Promotion. “It has allowed us to engage faculty, students and staff in conversations that may not have been possible without the strategic planning and guidance that JED provided.”

Through JED Campus, NAU has demonstrated a commitment to the emotional well-being of its students in multiple ways. First, all medical visits to Campus Health Services will include a depression screening, and alcohol and drug screenings will be expanded across campus. Gatekeeper suicide prevention training will be offered so staff, faculty and students can recognize and refer students in distress to the available resources. Lastly, all campus policies that impact students’ mental health will be reviewed for improvement.

NAU will continue to be an integral part of the JED Campus Learning Community in sharing resources and recommendations with other institutions and continuing to access JED’s resources and guidance through webinars and other learning opportunities.

“It has been our pleasure to work with and assist Northern Arizona University through the JED Campus program, which is designed to help participating schools assess, strengthen and develop policies, programs and systems to support student mental health,” said John MacPhee, executive director/CEO of JED. “We are looking forward to a continued relationship supporting Northern Arizona University’s sustained efforts to help the well-being of its students into the future.”

To learn more about JED Campus, visit

Did you know September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month? Learn about all the resources Campus Health Services offers to help students take care of themselves, their friends and roommates at