The Jed Foundation and Tyler Clementi Center Join to Support Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health of LGBTQ+ College Students
Partners working on new national model to help colleges and universities develop, implement, and refine on-campus LGBTQ+ programs
The Jed Foundation (JED), a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among our nation’s teens and young adults, and the Tyler Clementi Center, a research center at Rutgers University that examines the impact of bias, peer aggression, and campus climate on postsecondary students, are partnering to develop a model to guide colleges and universities in developing, implementing, and refining on-campus programs to support the emotional well-being and mental health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer+ (hereafter queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum) college students.
As the data show, queer-spectrum students and trans-spectrum students experience depression, anxiety, self-injury, and suicidal ideation at three to four times the rates of heterosexual and cisgender peers. They also indicate lower levels of agreement on all measures of campus climate (defined as the “attitudes, behaviors, and standards/practices [of faculty/staff/students] that concern the access for, inclusion of, and level of respect for individual and group needs, abilities, and potential” in higher education settings than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.
“It is thrilling when scholars are afforded the opportunity to connect their research to a practical intervention,” says Maren Greathouse, director of the Tyler Clementi Center. “The opportunity to guide institutions in addressing the mental health disparities we’ve found in our research is truly an honor.”
“We are excited to partner with the Tyler Clementi Center to incorporate research into the development of strategies and interventions that colleges and universities can use to support the mental health and well-being of queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum students,” says Sofia Pertuz, chief diversity and inclusion officer at JED.
Recognizing this demonstrated need among the higher education community for additional supports and resources, JED and Tyler Clementi Center will develop a set of recommendations focused on sexuality and another focused on gender identity. While there may be some overlap among these, we know that the mental health needs of queer-spectrum students are distinct from those of trans-spectrum students. We hope this partnership will contribute to improving the college campus experiences of queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum college students.
Source: Rutgers University