NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (June 26, 2019) - The data don't lie.
National college surveys show that queer- and trans-spectrum students experience depression, anxiety, self-injury, and suicidal ideation at three to four times the rates of [their] heterosexual and cisgender peers.
They also indicate lower levels of agreement on all measures of campus climate 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.
To address this troubling mental health disparity on college campus, the Tyler Clementi Center, a research center at Rutgers University-New Brunswick that examines the impact of bias, peer aggression, and campus climate on postsecondary students, and the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among our nation's teens and young adults, are partnering to create a national model to guide colleges and universities in developing, implementing, and refining on-campus programs to support the emotional well-being and mental health of LGBTQ+ college students.
The Clementi Center and the Jed Foundation will develop a set of recommendations focused on sexuality and another focused on gender identity. The goal in creating this 'toolkit' - the first of its kind in the country - is to better guide the higher education community and improve the college experience and mental health outcomes for queer- and trans-spectrum college students.
'The Tyler Clementi Center was established to ensure that what happened to Tyler would never befall another student,' said Maren Greathouse, director of the Tyler Clementi Center. 'We believe that this toolkit is a huge step in honoring that commitment and protecting the lives of LGBTQ students.'
The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation's teens and young adults. It is partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. It is equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. It is encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health. Learn more at jedfoundation.org.
The Tyler Clementi Center examines the impact of bias, peer aggression, and campus climate on postsecondary students who experience marginalization or stigma related to their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion/faith, and/or ability among other stigmatized identities/experiences. Learn more at clementicenter.rutgers.edu.
Courtesy of the Tyler Clementi Center and the Jed Foundation
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