jed-campus-seal-smallEast Georgia State College has partnered with the Jed Foundation (JED) in a multi-year strategic collaboration that not only enhances the student mental health work already being done on campus but also creates positive, lasting change. This strategic collaboration with The Jed Foundation is made possible through the University System of Georgia’s Mental Health Initiative which focuses on mental health awareness, resources and response to students.

The aim of JED Campus is to ensure that schools have comprehensive systems in place to prioritize student mental health and create positive systemic change in the campus community.

JED Campus is a signature program of The Jed Foundation (JED) 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.


As a designated JED Campus, EGSC students will have access to a wealth of resources promoting emotional well-being, preventing suicide, and combating serious substance abuse issues. In July 2021, EGSC will embark on a four-year strategic planning exercise facilitated by JED representatives designed to assess efforts currently underway at the college, identify existing strengths and areas for improvement. Preliminary work to date includes the formation of a steering committee, the administration of the student Healthy Minds Survey and the completion of the EGSC campus assessment – all designed to guide EGSC’s strategic planning efforts concerning campus mental health awareness and response. The EGSC team engaged in the strategic planning exercise will be a multidisciplinary group comprised of the EGSC Mental Health Initiative Committee, student focus groups, and representatives from Athletics and Strategic Planning units.

JED’s comprehensive approach to strategic planning includes:

    • Developing Life Skills
    • Identifying Students at Risk
    • Promoting Social Connectedness
    • Increasing Help Seeking Behavior
    • Promote Mental Health and Substance Abuse services
    • Following Crisis Management Procedures
    • Restrict Access to Potentially Lethal Means

Project Timeline

    • November 2020 – Launch of USG Mental Health Initiative
    • December 2020 – Kick Off EGSC and JED Campus Partnership
    • December 2020 – Student Healthy Minds Survey Administered
    • January 2021 – EGSC Team begins work on the JED Campus Self-Assessment
    • February 2021 – EGSC Team completes the JED Campus Self-Assessment
    • March 2021 – Healthy Minds Survey Feedback Report received
    • April 2020 – EGSC Team Surveyed on Feedback Report
    • July 14 - 16, 2021 – JED Campus Visit and Strategic Planning Exercise
    • 2021 - 2023 – Strategic Plan Implementation and Tracking
    • 2024 – Administer Healthy Minds Survey, Second Campus Assessment/Chart Progress

The EGSC Mental Health Initiative Committee

    • Mary Smith, Chief of Staff and Legal Counsel (Co-chair)
    • Stephanie Royals, Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services (Co-Chair)
    • Dr. Catherine Whelan, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
    • Dr. David Chevalier, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
    • Sherrie Helms, Associate Vice President for Student Conduct & Title IX
    • Chief Trey Drawdy, Chief of Police
    • Cynthia Reese, Assistant Director of Student Conduct/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
    • Roosevelt Young, Student Life Specialist
    • Georgia Mathews, Director of Student Success
    • David Gribbin, Director of Institutional Research
    • Candace Lynn, Associate Professor of Mathematics
    • Dr. Kathy Knudsen, Special Assistant to the President