Young people are experiencing mental health crises and dying by suicide at alarming rates. Whether it’s switching grades or entering college, the military, the work force, a gap year, or something else, the transition to “what’s next” can cause significant stress and greatly impact mental health. We cannot ignore this critical developmental stage. 4 What’s Next meets young people where they are developmentally, equipping them with transferable skills that can help bridge the gap between “now” and “next.”
In 2015, the Jordan Porco Foundation partnered with the JED Foundation and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to complete a groundbreaking survey about mental health and the transition to college. 87% of college freshman surveyed said that in high school, there is much more focus on being academically ready for college than being emotionally ready. College students who did not have confidence in their emotional preparation had lower GPAs and were more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs than their better prepared peers.
The survey was fielded online by Harris Poll among 1,502 U.S. first-year college students between March 25 and April 17, 2015. Survey respondents were students 17-20 years old, graduated from high school, are in the second term of their first year at college, and attending at least some classes in-person at a 2-year or 4-year college.