A shield logo with the words JED Campus Member

Amherst Joins the JED Campus network

Last Updated: March 2023

In February 2022, Amherst became a member of The Jed Foundation’s JED Campus network. The Jed Foundation is a nationally-recognized organization that helps colleges and universities strengthen mental health and wellbeing and prevent suicide and substance misuse on campus through measurable, evidence-supported action steps. A JED Working Group has been convened to carry out this work.

The Amherst JED Working Group is an interdisciplinary, campus-wide team of students and staff that will work with campus partners to enhance programs and processes and improve communication about existing campus resources. Using data from the Spring 2022 Healthy Minds Survey, a JED Campus baseline assessment, and stakeholder input gathered during a campus visit, JED Campus Advisors drafted a strategic plan for the Working Group to review. Throughout the spring and summer, the working group will begin implementing strategic action steps in several domains that are essential to supporting whole individual and community mental health and wellbeing.

The JED Working Group

The JED Working Group will coordinate their work with the Wellbeing Steering Committee, which is developing strategies to create a campus culture that embraces health and holistic wellbeing as core values. The Working Group and Steering Committee will collaborate with campus partners to ensure that policies, programs, and partnerships empower students to thrive across all spheres of wellbeing and to co-create a campus community that centers whole-person wellbeing, equity, leadership, and belonging.

Strategic Planning

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A circle with seven slices as described in the accompanying text

The Jed Foundation (JED) Campus Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities was developed in collaboration with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). This approach consists of strategic planning in seven key areas that aim to:

  • Develop life skills
  • Promote social connectedness
  • Identify students at risk
  • Increase help-seeking behavior
  • Provide mental health and substance abuse services
  • Follow crisis management procedures
  • Restrict access to potentially lethal means

JED Working Group Members

  • Amanda Collings Vann (Chair), Assistant Dean of Students for Residential Engagement & Wellbeing
  • Hannah Durham, Program Manager for Wellbeing Initiatives
  • Jordan Barnard, Assistant Director of Operations & Assessment, Center for Counseling and Mental Health
  • Chris Boyko, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and Fitness Center Director, Athletics
  • Jennifer Chuks, Associate Athletic Director for DEI and Compliance, Athletics
  • Garrett Fitzgerald, Program Director for Mental Health Promotion, Center for Counseling and Mental Health
  • Rob Johnson, Director of Community Safety
  • Lauren Kelly, Associate Director for Health and Wellbeing, Residential Engagement & Wellbeing
  • Alyssa Pawlowski, Associate Director of Health Services (on leave Spring 2024)
  • Mark Foelster, Physician Assistant, Health Services 
  • Megan Scutti, Nutritionist, Dining Services
  • Armando Garcia ’25
  • Kaisar Perry, ’26
  • GeorgeDaniel Dixon, ’27
Previous Members
  • Harrison Blum, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Office of Identity and Cultural Resources
  • Traniece Bruce, Associate Dean of Financial Aid, Equity, and Access
  • Larissa Hopkins, Director of Accessibility Services
  • Jelani Johnson, Director of Student Activities
  • Zane Khiry ’25
  • Victoria Thomas ’25