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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Counseling center wins self-assessed award

Published: October 18, 2013
Section: News

On Oct. 4, Dr. Michael J. LaFarr, associate director of the Psychological Counseling Center (PCC), announced that Brandeis has been awarded the JedCampus Seal from the Jed Foundation in an emailed press release.

The Jed Foundation is a “leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students,” according to the press release. One of the programs that the Foundation provides to protect student health is JedCampus, a which analyzes the strength of a college’s mental health resources based on self-assessment and feedback. It is the first program nationwide to enable this sort of rating.

Brandeis began the process of applying for the JedCampus Seal by participating in an online self-assessment on the resources found here at the Counseling Center in Mailman. The Foundation compared the responses to suggested guidelines from “The Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention on College and University Campuses” developed by the Jed Foundation and Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

The award is based mainly on the school’s self-assessment, as the Foundation does not conduct an independent review of campus resources. In a separate email, however, Dr. LaFarr explained that after filling out the assessment, Jed senior administration came to the PCC at Brandeis “to discuss interventions and our work, and we collaborated with them to ensure we are doing blue ribbon work.”

The PCC at Brandeis was founded in 1952, and approximately 20 percent of Brandeis students take advantage of the counseling opportunities each academic year, according to the PCC site. It is located at Mailman House on Brandeis campus. Appointments can be scheduled with clinical staff members from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Center provides counseling for a variety of issues, from stress, anxiety or academic problems to cross-cultural issues, trauma and abuse, depression or suicidal thoughts.

“We are very proud to have been awarded the JedCampus Seal. The Psychological Counseling Center works very hard with our many colleagues from across campus to promote wellness in our community. The honor of winning this seal is no small feat, and we are thrilled to have received such a high honor,” Dr. LaFarr was quoted in the press release.

The JedCampus Seal is valid for two years, and is a prestigious recognition. Other schools awarded the Seal include Columbia University, Cornell University, Yale University and Emory University. Schools that apply for the Seal but do not receive it are kept private and are eligible to reapply after one year.

Other Jed Foundation programs include ULifeline, Love is Louder, Half of Us and Transition Year. All of the programs aim to protect the mental health of college students, and can be seen further at