JED Newsletter: the Cadence edit

Newsletter Challenge, v. 14

Quick note: I recently wrapped up a writing coach arrangement with Ari Lewis, host of the Mastering the Attention Economy podcast. We enjoyed working together (see Ari’s ROI here), and he proposed I take on a newsletter editing challenge. I’ve built my list from the top paid newsletters at Substack, and I toss in an odd find now and again to keep things fresh — like this one.

The challenge: Twenty edits by 22 September.

My primary goal: add clarity, concision, and cadence to the newsletters, and sharpen up my own editing process. After I wrap up the challenge, I’ll provide reflections on each edit and offer some lessons you can use on your own newsletter.

For details on my process, click here, a Google doc. Leave suggestions as you see fit. Thanks!

“Newsletter for College & Univ. Professionals,” Sept 16

@ https://tinyurl.com/yxde72pb / The JED Team @ @jedfoundation
–Grey typeface: JED.

Normal typeface: me.

Key metrics (original -> edit)
–reading level: 12 -> 9.
–word count: 1714 -> 1512
–median sentence length: 29 -> 17 words.
–sentence length, standard deviation (basically, a measure of the variety of sentence lengths): 20 -> 17.
–% of sentences, hard or very hard to read: 45% -> 37%

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Dear Randal,

Every September, those of us working to promote mental health and well-being on college campuses look to Suicide Prevention Awareness Month as a way to activate our mental health programs, encourage campus-wide collaboration, and connect with national alliances and peers around the country. At the same time, we are navigating the busyness and challenges of the back-to-school season. Though this season has always had its challenges, we continue to face unique stressors this fall after six months of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

During a webinar with Facebook Safety and JED Student Ambassador Skylar Chau last week, Erica Riba (JED’s Director of Higher Education and Student Engagement) offered a reminder to all in response to the season ahead of us:

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. With our shift from summer relaxation to fall routines, we face the same old challenges — as well as unique stressors to the ongoing pandemic. Your students are in the same boat. So it’s a great time to activate our mental health programs, encourage campus-wide collaboration, and connect with national alliances and peers around the country.

In a recent webinar with Skylar Chau, Facebook Safety and JED Student Ambassador, and Erica Riba, JED Director of Higher Education and Student Engagement, Erica offered us an inspirational reminder:

“We as humans are resilient. It’s also good to acknowledge that we got this. Let’s take some time to pause and reflect on how much we’ve done and overcome in the last [six] months and how we can move forward with that resiliency.”

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And while we affirm our resiliency to overcome the challenges ahead, we know we can only do this together and with the support of others. As you continue to read below about resources to support your work during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we encourage you to take care of yourselves and your colleagues—freely offering and asking for support as we encourage our students to do the same.

Our resiliency depends upon collaboration. We are best equipped for the challenges ahead when we know we can count on one another. Take a look at our new resources to support your work during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. We encourage you to think about how, this fall, you can freely offer and ask for support, as we encourage our students to do the same.Yours in health,

The JED Team

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JED’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month landing page is now live!

On this page, your students can access various tools and tips to support their wellness, including advice on how to start conversations about mental health with friends, self-care guides, mental health stories from celebrities and JED community members, and COVID-19 specific mental health and suicide prevention resources.

On this page, your students can access various tools and tips to support their wellness. There’s advice on how to start conversations about mental health with friends. There are self-care guides and stories about mental health stories from JED community members and celebrities, too. There’s also COVID-19-specific resources for mental health and suicide prevention.

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SHARE OUR RESOURCES WITH STUDENTS

The mental health of students is more critical now than ever and at JED, we’ve always driven home the message that institutions need to take a comprehensive, strategic approach to emotional well-being. JED has been supporting young adult mental health for 20 years and since the launch of our JED Campus program, we have worked with over 300 colleges and universities to establish and strengthen mental health strategic plans. Our comprehensive approach works as evidenced by our recently published JED Campus Impact Report.

At JED, we have long believed that colleges and universities should embrace a comprehensive and strategic approach to the emotional well-being of their communities. For 20 years, JED has supported the mental health of young adults. Since the launch of our JED Campus program, we have worked with over 300 colleges and universities to establish and strengthen this approach. Check out the results of our 2020 JED Campus Impact Report.

“The Jed Foundation has had an incredible impact in higher education. It’s the best model out there to enhance student well-being and save lives.” ~ School of the Art Institute of Chicago, JED Campus Alum, Summer 2020

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Our early learnings have enabled us to tailor our approach to institutions of different sizes and types. We have adapted our program and now have assessments specifically for community colleges and graduate/professional schools. We now also have two different program options: our original four-year JED Campus program and a new 18-month JED Campus Fundamentals program. The two programs provide colleges and universities varying levels at which they can engage with JED.

We’re also pleased to announce the creation of the Morgan Stanley Scholarship Fund that will help to subsidize the fees for these programs for institutions that are serving students from low-income and diverse backgrounds. Program cohorts start each February and August and we invite you to reach out to learn more about how we can partner with you in support of your students!

The takeaway lessons from our early work enabled us to tailor our engagements with institutions of different sizes and types. We now have assessments specifically for community colleges and graduate/professional schools. We also offer two different program options: our original four-year JED Campus program, and a new 18-month JED Campus Fundamentals program.

Financial support for your JED program.

We’re pleased to announce the creation of the Morgan Stanley Scholarship Fund, which subsidizes program fees for institutions with students from low-income households and underrepresented groups. Program cohorts start each February and August. Contact us to learn how we can help support of your students!

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ICYMI: JED’S POV ON STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN FALL CAMPUS REOPENING

Below, we offer some considerations for our college and university campuses as they continue to prepare and work through supporting the mental health and well-being of their communities during the fall reopening, in whatever format it will take for each campus. We have organized our recommendations by the various domains of JED’s Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities. Because each of the domains are not discrete or mutually exclusive, the reader will find that some recommendations can be applied across several domains. We would like to emphasize that the list of recommendations is not meant to be exhaustive and may or may not work on every campus. We put them forward for consideration only and each campus can determine if/how they will work for their specific communities.

We know that college administrators, students, and their parents face difficult decisions about the fall semester. Remote, or face-to-face? A combination of both? We offer some guidelines for our on-campus colleagues as they prepare to support the mental health and well-being of their communities this fall. Our recommendations coincide with the various domains of JED’s Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities. Not every recommendation is meant for every campus. We understand that you know what works best with the students in your communities.

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JED Higher Ed Webinars

How College Students Are Coping During the Pandemic: Why Tracking Student Mental Health Data in 2020 Is So Important
Thursday, October 8, 2:00PM-3:00PM EDT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, data from the Healthy Minds Study (HMS) has shown significant increases in issues like student financial stress and difficulties accessing mental health care. In light of the numerous impacts of COVID-19 on student mental and emotional health, it is important to continue to survey students to understand how their well-being is being impacted, while also investing to improve programs, policies, and systems that will promote their mental health.

Keep the Data Coming: The Mental Health of College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic / Thursday, October 8, 2:00PM-3:00PM EDT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, data from the Healthy Minds Study (HMS) indicate significant increases in student financial stress and difficulties accessing mental health care, to name but two. COVID-19 places new stresses on all of us. It’s essential that you continue to survey students about their mental and emotional health, and invest in programs, policies, and systems to promote their mental health.

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Participants will learn about the importance of tracking student mental health data at their college and university in order to inform programs, policies, and systems that help improve behavioral health outcomes, which lead to higher rates of student success and retention.

Participants will learn about findings from the 2019-2020 Healthy Minds Study National Data Reports, as well as “The Impact of COVID-19 on College Student Well-Being,” a study conducted in partnership with the American College Health Association (ACHA), demonstrating the importance of continuing to track student mental health data during the pandemic.

Participants will learn how the partnership between JED and The Healthy Minds Network supports a Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities, especially now in response to COVID-19 and the unique challenges of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Webinar participants will learn about:

the importance of tracking student mental health data in order to inform programs, policies, and systems that help improve behavioral health outcomes, which in turn improve student success and retention;

insights from the 2019-2020 Healthy Minds Study National Data Reports and “The Impact of COVID-19 on College Student Well-Being.” “The Impact” was conducted in partnership with the American College Health Association, and analyzes the importance of tracking student mental health data during the pandemic.

how the partnership between JED and The Healthy Minds Network supports a Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities — and why it matters even more during the pandemic.

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ICYMI: View our Summer 2020 Higher Ed Webinars

This summer, we’ve hosted four separate webinars that may help you and your campus in implementing strategies to support distinct student groups on campus and promote connectedness, their well-being, and mental health:

  1. Live Briefing: Learnings from the Equity in Mental Health Framework Pilot Implementation Partners
  2. Supporting International Student Mental Health During Challenging Times 
  3. Amplifying Voices of Future Leaders: Supporting the Mental Health of Students Speaking Up Against Racial Injustice
  4. Struggling to be Proud and Thriving: Supporting the Well-being and Mental Health of LGBTQ+ College Students

Please click the links above to view individual recordings of each webinar, or use the button below to view recordings of all JED Webinars for Higher Ed.

This summer, we hosted four webinars designed to help and your staff work with distinct student groups to promote connectedness, their well-being, and mental health:

● Live Briefing: Key Lessons from the Equity in Mental Health Framework Pilot Project

● Supporting International Student Mental Health During Social Conflict

● Amplify the Voices of Future Leaders: Supporting the Mental Health of Students Speaking Up Against Racial Injustice

● Pride and Poise: Supporting the Well-being and Mental Health of LGBTQ+ College Students

Please click the links above to view individual recordings of each webinar, or use the button below to view recordings of all JED Webinars for Higher Ed.

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VIEW OUR SUMMER 2020 WEBINARS

P.S. The JED Higher Ed Team also participated in Day 2 of the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Conference (August 18–August 19) on Reopening College Campuses with Uncertain Expectations and Emerging Anxieties. Click here to access full recordings from the conference keynotes and panels.

P.S. In August, the JED Higher Ed Team participated in day 2 of the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Conference on Reopening College Campuses with Uncertain Expectations and Emerging Anxieties. Click here to access full recordings from the conference keynotes and panels.

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Resource Reminder: JED’s “You Can Help”

A fundamental part of a comprehensive approach to supporting mental health and preventing suicide is to train community members to identify and support students who may be struggling with a mental health challenge and refer them to professional help if needed. JED’s “You Can Help” is designed to help you educate faculty, staff, and student peers on how they can best support others on campus.

A comprehensive approach to supporting mental health and preventing suicide entails training community members to identify and support students in need. When students are facing a mental health challenge, what can you do to ensure they receive professional help, if needed? JED’s “You Can Help” is designed to help you educate faculty, staff, and student peers on the best modes of support for students on your campus.

For more information, please visit https://www.jedfoundation.org/you-can-help-a-friend-ychaf-training/ or click the button below for the two-page overview.

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LEARN MORE: From Our Partners and Other Organizations

Unpack U Campaign with the Pittsburgh JED Campus Cohort

Unpack U is an innovative, inclusive program that helps universities address the extraordinary transitions facing today’s college students. The toolkit reminds students of the importance of reaching out for help and connects them to resources on and off campus that promote emotional well-being and resilience including real-time virtual experiences that are authentic, engaging, and genuinely fun!

Within Unpack U, students will find validation, connection, self-discovery and see themselves represented in our diverse range of partners—including influencers, Pittsburgh athletes, and most importantly—students. Guided by research and direct collaboration with students and local partners, Unpack U is building a radical new program that addresses collegiate mental health by meeting students wherever they may be—in their dorms, at home, on Zoom or on social media.

Unpack U is an innovative, inclusive program that helps universities address the complexity of key life transitions for today’s college students. The toolkit reminds students of the importance of reaching out for help. It connects them with resources on- and off-campus that promote emotional well-being and resilience, as well as real-time virtual experiences that are authentic, engaging, and genuinely fun!

In Unpack U, students can find validation, connection, and opportunities for self-discovery. They get to see themselves represented in our diverse range of partners, including influencers, Pittsburgh athletes and, most importantly, students. Guided by research and direct collaboration with students and local partners, Unpack U is the cornerstone of a radical new program that “meets” students in their dorms, at home, on Zoom or on social media.

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New Seize The Awkward Website

Head to seizetheawkward.org to share new tools and tips with your students to support themselves and their friends. We’ve added step-by-step conversation guides to help you start and sustain mental health conversations, a conversation starter generator and much more. Check it out!

Head to seizetheawkward.org to share new tools and tips with your students to support themselves and their friends. We’ve added step-by-step conversation guides to help you start and sustain mental health conversations. Check it out!

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The College Student Mental Health Action Toolkit

Developed by The Healthy Minds Network, in partnership with Active Minds and The Jed Foundation (JED), The College Student Mental Health Action Toolkit was created for college students to equip them to advocate for policies, systems, and environmental changes that will improve the mental health and well-being on college and university campuses. The toolkit provides key data points, resources, and tips to help students take action! Share with your students here.

Developed by The Healthy Minds Network, in partnership with Active Minds and JED, The College Student Mental Health Action Toolkit equips college students with the skills to advocate for policies and environmental changes to improve mental health and well-being on campus. The toolkit provides key data points, resources, and tips to help students take action. Share with your students here.

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COVID-19 and Mental Health: How America’s High School and College Students Are Coping During The Pandemic

Seize the Awkward recently partnered with Chegg to survey high school and college students about COVID’s impact on their mental health. Since the onset of the virus, more than half of students surveyed have offered support to a friend whom they thought might be struggling – while nearly half have had a friend reach out to them. Take a look at the rest of our findings here.

Seize the Awkward recently partnered with Chegg to survey high school and college students about COVID’s impact on their mental health. Since the onset of the virus, more than half of students surveyed have offered support to a friend, and nearly half have friends who reached out to them. Check the rest of our findings here.

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#BacktoSchoolTogether

As millions of college students begin to return to campus in the coming weeks and states across the country are reporting a rise in younger people testing positive for COVID-19, MTV, and ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group—in partnership with the Ad Council—are launching #BacktoSchoolTogether, a new phase of the #AloneTogether public awareness campaign which will communicate how to stay safe, dispel myths and misinformation, and promote the importance of key actions that students can take to slow the spread.

The digital-first PSA campaign features a media toolkit that consists of a style guide and a suite of creative assets that colleges and universities can easily and quickly customize across their social channels and digital platforms.

As millions of college students return to campus in the next few weeks, multiple states report a rise in positive cases. MTV and ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group—in partnership with the Ad Council—are launching #BacktoSchoolTogether. It’s a new phase of the #AloneTogether public awareness campaign, designed to help students stay safe, recognize misinformation, and use their own agency to flatten the curve.

The digital-first PSA campaign features a media toolkit with a suite of creative assets that colleges and universities can easily and quickly customize for their social channels and digital platforms.

Good luck and stay safe everyone!

# # #

And that’s a wrap.

If you like what you see, drop me a line over here.

Thanks!

Happy writing!

Published by Randal Doane

Living the good life in NE Ohio. I dig science and the written word. Let's build something amazing together.

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