09/14/2023 | Press release | Archived content
Wentworth Institute of Technology is among a collection of organizations leading the charge on health and wellness when university officials adopt the historic Okanagan Charteron Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Wentworth will become the 20thcollege or university in the nation to adopt the charter, which signifies Wentworth's ongoing commitment in working to embed health and well-being into all aspects of campus culture, and continues work that the Institute has undertaken since 2015 with partners including The JED Foundationand The Steve Fund.
"Signing the Okanagan Charter is a great step towards continued commitment to emotional health and suicide prevention," JED Foundation representatives said in a statement. "JED is supportive of this work and wish them great success."
Wentworth joined JED Campus in 2015, a program of The Jed Foundation (JED) that supports student mental health and reduces suicide, completing the program in 2019. Throughout the program, Wentworth built a multidisciplinary mental health taskforce, and completed two assessments (baseline and post) to identify and evaluate their programs, policies, and systems that support student mental health. They additionally hosted JED for an in-person site visit, which resulted in the creation of a university-wide mental health strategic plan.
While part of JED Campus, Wentworth used their strategic plan to create an institutional culture of care by building wellness programs around the dimensions of wellness, creating faculty wellness ambassadors, offering mental health trainings to faculty and staff, and enhancing student engagement through peer education and experiential programming. They also secured a partnership with Christie Campus Health, a 24/7 mental health resource for students.
In 2022, Wentworth partnered with The Steve Fund on the Equity in Mental Health (EMHC) framework, which entailed an assessment and strategy towards enhancing equity and diversity across the college.
The EMHC is an institution-wide change approach engaging all key stakeholders (faculty, staff, administrators, and students) in transforming the policies, programs, services, and practices that can undermine, and lead to disparities in the mental health and wellness of students of color.
"Through this partnership, Wentworth Institute of Technology continues its commitment to expand its services and better serve and prioritize the mental health of its diverse campus community," said Steve Fund representatives in a statement.
Christie Campus Healthbegan partnering with Wentworth in the fall of 2019. Christie provides a continuum of mental health and wellness services to nearly 800,000 studentsenrolled at more than 200 higher education campuses across the country. Christe works in concert with Wentworth's on-campus services in supporting the mission of the institution by expanding access to mental health services.
Wentworth students have access to Christie's 24/7 Clinical Support Line that provides in-the-moment crisis support through licensed and diverse clinicians, and Christie's Wellness Hub, which contains thousands of articles, assessment tools, and videos across the eight dimensions of wellness.
"We applaud the focus and diligence Wentworth has committed to the mental health and wellbeing of their students," said Christie representatives in a statement. "We are honored to be their partner in achieving their goals.