NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jed Foundation, a leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students, today announced it has partnered with Facebook and the Clinton Foundation to develop "Help A Friend In Need," a community guide for Facebook users to help college students and young adults identify potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and in need of help.
The guide provides recommendations about how to recognize content on Facebook that may signal emotional distress, as well as advice on how to talk to a friend who may be struggling and how to connect them to help. Facebook offers an anonymous tool for users to report content that is concerning. This guide offers additional context and education to help people understand when they need to use this feature and better recognize potential warning signs that a friend's health and safety may be at risk.
"Many young adults experiencing emotional distress hesitate to speak up and ask for help. Yet, there are warning signs that can be seen through the way they interact with the world online. The goal of this guide is to help people recognize how these warning signs might appear on social networking sites like Facebook so that more at-risk young adults can be identified and connected to professional help," said John MacPhee, Executive Director of The Jed Foundation. "With nearly one third of college students reporting they felt so depressed in the past year that they had trouble functioning, there is an immense need to help identify at-risk young adults."
The Jed Foundation, in partnership with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), provided support and direction in the development of the "Help A Friend In Need" guide. This announcement was made at CHMI's third annual Health Matters conference.
"Facebook is about making the world more open and connected, and this kind of community can play a powerful role in helping people manage stressful times," said Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer of Facebook. "We're proud to support efforts aimed at increasing support for mental health."
"Help A Friend In Need" is currently available at Facebook's Family Safety Center and will be featured in new Facebook ads geared towards college students. In addition, the guide will also be distributed to thousands of college health centers in the United States.
About The Jed Foundation
The Jed Foundation (www.jedfoundation.org) is a leading nonprofit working to protect the emotional health of teenagers and colleges students. Our programs are inspiring a new national dialogue on mental health, encouraging millions of young people to speak up and take action, and changing the way academic institutions create healthier campus communities and prevent substance abuse and self-harm. These programs include: The Jed and Clinton Foundation Health Matter Campus Program, a groundbreaking self-assessment and feedback program that helps colleges create more comprehensive solutions to support their students; ULifeline, an online resource that helps students understand and address mental health conditions like depression and anxiety disorders; the Half of Us campaign, with MTV, which uses online and on-air programming to share stories and encourage help-seeking; the Love is Louder movement that helps individuals, communities and schools build resiliency, create connectedness and promote acceptance; Transition Year, an online resource for parents aimed at helping to ensure a smooth, healthy transition into college life; and a portfolio of resources that helps campuses promote emotional health and protect at-risk students. Learn more at www.jedfoundation.org.
About the Clinton Foundation
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, 20,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 21,000 African farmers have improved their crops to feed 30,000 people; 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced in cities worldwide; more than 5,000 people have been trained in marketable job skills in Colombia; more than 6.8 million people have benefited from lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications; $100 million in strategic investments have been made, impacting the health of 25 million people in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made nearly 2,500 Commitments to Action to improve more than 430 million lives around the world.
The Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) works to improve the health and well-being of people throughout the United States across all generations.
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SOURCE The Jed Foundation