The University is one of 30 universities nationwide to receive the seal, which signifies schools that have comprehensive mental health promotion and suicide prevention programming on campus. The seal is part of the foundation’s JedCampus program, a national effort to facilitate schools’ abilities to assess and enhance their mental health support systems.
“This recognition comes to Fordham at an important time,” said Jeffrey Gray, senior vice president for Student Affairs. “It recognizes a key variable that we have long considered to be the most important in our approach to student support in this area—an integrated approach that involves a well-defined network of campus professionals and offices, all focused on the care of the individual student, and the whole student.”
To earn the seal, Fordham completed an online self-assessment that reviewed its campus mental health programming. The assessment was compared to other schools’ responses and to recommended practices outlined in the Jed Foundation’s Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention on College and University Campuses.
Those schools whose programs demonstrated a comprehensive, community-based approach to mental healthcare received the seal, which is valid for two years.
High quality, integrated mental health services are critical, said Jeffrey Ng, Psy.D., director of Fordham’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), because students’ psychological and emotional health can enhance or interfere with all facets of their college experience.
“Learning and mental and emotional health are intertwined,” Ng said. “If we want students to thrive academically and intellectually, we need to attend to and nurture their psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical health.”
Fordham CPS offers a variety of free and confidential services to students, including individual and group counseling, psychological assessment, psychiatric services, individualized referrals, and crisis intervention and emergency services.
In addition to clinical services, CPS provides outreach and training programs to help faculty, staff, administrators, coaches, and other community members learn how to foster mental and emotional wellness among students, as well as recognize and respond appropriately to students in psychological distress.
“One of the tenets of a Jesuit education is cura personalis, care for the whole person, which is reflected in and informs our approach to promoting mental health and wellness here at Fordham,” Ng said. “Cultivating an emotionally and psychologically healthy community increases students’ intellectual and learning capacities, and helps them to flourish inside and outside the classroom.”