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Texas A&M-Kingsville joins JED Campus to support student mental health

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Leaders of the Pack

Leaders of the Pack

KINGSVILLE (February 8, 2024) — Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) recently announced that it has joined JED Campus in support of student well-being and mental health. The program is a nationwide initiative of The Jed Foundation (JED) designed to help schools evaluate and strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems to ensure that schools have the strongest possible mental health safety nets. There are currently over 400 campuses engaged in the JED Campus program.


By joining JED Campus, Texas A&M-Kingsville demonstrates a commitment to the emotional well-being of its students. JED Campuses embark on a multi-year strategic collaboration that not only assesses and enhances the work that is already being done but also helps create positive, lasting, systemic change in the campus community. The program provides schools with a framework for supporting student mental health, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports, a strategic plan, and ongoing support from the JED Higher Education team.


“Texas A&M-Kingsville’s partnership with the JED Foundation will ensure that we create an infrastructure on our campus that supports our students’ mental health in a holistic, comprehensive way. This is an essential obligation to our students and part of our duty of care. College is stressful for students, particularly as we emerge from the COVID pandemic,” said Dr. Robert H. Vela Jr., university president.


“National rates of anxiety and depression among college students are at a record high. Our work with the JED Foundation will connect students with important support to help them protect their mental health while enhancing the on-campus resources already available to them,” he added.


Care and heart are the center of our university. We care about our students, and we’ve listened to their concerns around mental health. It is a serious issue across the country, and we are committed to addressing it at TAMUK, said Dr. Rito Silva, vice president of student affairs and community relations. “We want our students and their families to know that TAMUK is invested in all aspects of our students’ success and wellbeing—both in and out of the classroom. We know mental health is essential to that success.”


“A recent survey by the American Council on Education found that the mental health of employees and students ranked among the top concerns of university leaders. As a Caring Campus, we have an opportunity at TAMUK to create positive systemic change and reduce the stigma of emotional/mental health and well-being in our campus community,” said Dr. Renee Weiss, LPC-S, LCDC, BC-THP, director of counseling services for Student Health and Wellness.


“During the next four years, our multidisciplinary JED Campus Task Force Committee will be working with a JED Campus Advisor to ensure sustainable change is implemented to support our students as they successfully complete their college education and become gainfully employed,” Weiss added.


“The college years are the age when many mental health issues first manifest, and it can be a time of significant stress and pressure,” said John MacPhee, Chief Executive Officer of JED. “JED Campus helps schools by working with them to survey everything their college or university is doing to support their students’ emotional health and find practical ways to augment these efforts in a comprehensive way. We believe that the implementation of a campus-wide approach to mental health will lead to safer, healthier communities, and likely greater student retention.”


Texas A&M-Kingsville’s membership in JED Campus begins with establishing an interdisciplinary, campus-wide team to assess, support and implement program, policy, and system improvements and completing a confidential, self-assessment survey on its mental health promotion, substance use, and suicide prevention efforts.


Upon completion of the assessment, JED subject matter experts provide schools with a comprehensive feedback report identifying successes and opportunities for enhancements. Over the course of four years, A&M-Kingsville will collaborate with JED to help implement enhancements. All self-assessment responses and feedback reports are confidential.  


About The Jed Foundation (JED)

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We are partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We are equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We are encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.

For more information about JED Campus, visit


JED Media Contact
Justin Barbo
Director, Public Relations, The Jed Foundation

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