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ENDEAVOR FOUNDATION LAUNCHES NATIONAL COLLABORATIVE TO ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES


NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Endeavor Foundation announced a national collaborative to address student mental health, an issue the US Surgeon General has declared the "defining health crisis of our time." With the Foundation's support, 13 liberal arts colleges have joined forces to establish strategies to enhance student mental health and well-being. Endeavor has provided $3 million to the colleges to develop and implement pilot projects. The successful completion of this first phase will enable access to an additional $5.225 million over the next three years.

The collaborative is focused on four goals: fostering learning and active collaboration across campuses; understanding how the liberal arts context benefits students' mental health and well-being; devising plans for implementing multi-campus projects; developing a network of cross-institutional capacity and support. The strategies may include non-traditional educational experiences such as nature-based learning, credit-bearing wellness classes, expanding clinical and non-clinical mental health interventions such as developing communities of care, and exploring personal values to identify meaning early on in college to align with career paths.

The colleges ? Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, OH; Bennington College in Bennington, VT; Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL; College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME; Northland College in Ashland, WI; Prescott College in Prescott, AZ; Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA; St. John's College, Annapolis in Annapolis, MD; St. John's College, Santa Fe in Santa Fe, NM; Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, VT;  Unity Environmental University in New Gloucester, ME; Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC; and Wells College in Aurora, NY? are known as the Endeavor Lab Colleges (ELC).

"The liberal arts have long provided us a way to think about the human condition, over time and in an ever-changing world," said Ashley Kidd, VP and Director of Programs at the Endeavor Foundation. "We're eager to see how these schools can build on the work their campuses are doing to help create systems of thinking about and practicing mental health that are fully integrated into the liberal arts college experience."

"All too often we see mental health as a personal challenge and forget the critical role institutions play in facilitating and supporting mental health and well-being," said Lori Collins-Hall, the grant Project Director and Chief Operating Officer at Sterling College. "A liberal arts education asks us to think about the ways our lives are integrated in and impacted by the larger world. We're excited to work across this collaborative that understands the important role colleges play in the lives of our students. Our goal is to identify and implement strategies that can help us collectively create new frameworks to address the mental health crisis on our campuses in ways that do not put the burden on our students."

The 13 colleges will work together to facilitate mental health and well-being by focusing on programs in four thematic areas:

"Collaboration across colleges is both an enormous challenge and an enormous opportunity," said Isabel Roche, Executive Director for Special Programs in Higher Education at Endeavor. "We believe that this group of colleges, which have strong shared values and commitments, can demonstrate the power of collaboration and of responding collectively to issues that impact the lives of young people today, and in doing so, serve as an inspiration to other institutions."

About Endeavor Foundation 
The Endeavor Foundation promotes societal and planetary good through six interrelated areas of grantmaking: Addressing Global Issues, Enabling Just Communities, Expanding Creative Engagement, Opening the Mind, Revitalizing Our Planet, and Upholding Democratic Values and Practices. Founded in 1952 by Christian A. Johnson, Endeavor has anchored its philanthropy in a belief in the capacity of human beings to respond imaginatively and boldly to daunting challenges and affect change. The Foundation has made major contributions to higher education and to the arts, including its pivotal support for new liberal arts institutions abroad and its instrumental role in the creation of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

SOURCE Endeavor Foundation


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