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Morneau Shepell and The Jed Foundation to study international student success and acculturation

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Morneau Shepell and The Jed Foundation to study international student success and acculturation

Year-long U.S. study will examine the impact of using Morneau Shepell's culturally and language-relevant technology to support international students experiencing emotional health issues 

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Morneau Shepell, a leading organization in international student support, announced a partnership with The Jed Foundation (JED), a non-profit based in New York City that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults. Morneau Shepell and JED are conducting a year-long study with schools in the United States to examine the impact of Morneau Shepell's specialized International Student Support Program (ISSP). The program is designed to complement academic institutions' on-campus services by connecting at-risk international students with support in their own language and from their own culture through instant 24/7 chat via an app, online and by telephone, as well as providing ongoing support through telephone and chat. The study, which will occur across the United States for one year, began September 1, 2017. It will evaluate the impact of ISSP on international students' personal coping skills, emotional struggles, acculturation and success.

"Studying in another country provides international students with an exciting opportunity, but it can also cause significant stress as students adjust to changes in lifestyle and routine," said Barb Veder, vice president, clinical services and research lead, Morneau Shepell. "If not adequately addressed, these stressors can put international students at heightened risk of developing emotional health issues, which in turn can impact their academic performance."

Research by the Healthy Minds Network shows that, when compared to their American counterparts, international students are 2.5 times more likely to experience stigma associated with mental health and are significantly less likely to reach out for support.

"JED believes in a comprehensive, public health approach to promoting student emotional well-being and preventing serious substance use problems and suicide. Part of such an approach involves identifying students who may feel disconnected and isolated and who also may be less likely to seek help," said Nance Roy, chief clinical officer, JED. "We are glad to be conducting this research with Morneau Shepell to learn more about effective strategies to support international students who can feel disconnected and are less likely to reach out for assistance through traditional means, and help ensure that they are provided with targeted support."

"It is estimated that by 2025, eight million students will be studying abroad," said Matthew McEvoy, senior director, ISSP, Morneau Shepell. "We are thrilled to partner with JED in this research to inform the delivery of alternate forms of support customized to international students' needs. Through the U.S.-based research, we hope to improve the understanding of matching language and culture through digital tools to address concerns of personal and emotional stress, and foster international student success."

The final results of the U.S. study will be announced in 2018. For more information about Morneau Shepell's ISSP, please visit

About JED

JED is a U.S. nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults in the United States. We're partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming and systems. We're equipping teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults; and we're encouraging community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health.

Learn more at Check out our programs including: JED Campus (, Set to Go (, ULifeline (, Half of Us ( and Love is Louder (

About Morneau Shepell

Morneau Shepell is the only human resources consulting and technology company that takes an integrated approach to employee assistance, health, benefits and retirement needs. The Company is the leading provider of employee and family assistance programs, the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans and the largest provider of integrated absence management solutions in Canada. As a leader in strategic HR consulting and innovative pension design, the Company helps clients solve complex workforce problems and provides integrated productivity, health and retirement solutions.  Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves approximately 20,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations. With more than 4,000 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Inc.

For further information: Heather MacDonald, Morneau Shepell, 416.390.2625,; Catherine Snider, Kaiser Lachance Communications, 647.725.2520 x 212,; Andrea Morgan, Makovsky for The Jed Foundation,, 917-213-5506