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The Power of Self Care – April 2018

Posted: April 20, 2018 11:55 pm
 

The Power of Self Care 

Please read our April 2018 Newsletter for a full update.

 Executive Director’s Note

Maintaining mental health and emotional well-being is a daily practice, and springtime is a great opportunity to renew our commitment to that discipline.  Across the Steve Fund’s work with students, staff & faculty, and parents & families across the country, many students share their self care tips, but many others still see self care as indulgent or unproductive.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Self care is how we cultivate the potent habit of treating ourselves well –both physically and mentally.  This month’s newsletter outlines some resources we hope you’ll find helpful in maintaining your own self carepractice and to share with your peers as the school year marches on.

Be well,

Anuja Khemka
Executive Director

 

 

 

Celebrate Minority Health Month with us by participating in the Peer to Peer Self Care Tips Campaign

P2P Self Care Tips Social Card Gallery





Article: Dr. Annelle Primm guest blogs on ACE’s Higher Education Today

Posted: April 2, 2018 1:00 pm
 

April 2, 2018

By Annelle B. Primm

This post is the first in a series on college student mental health and well-being.


A black student experiences cyberbullying and racial slurs directed at him on social media over a period of months. Feeling he has no way to effectively respond or handle the problem, it affects his schoolwork, and he begins feeling increasingly distraught, hopeless, and depressed.

An Asian student who does well in school is often viewed by others as being a model minority. Yet these extreme expectations leave her insecure and constantly anxious (experiencing “imposter phenomenon”) but unwilling to seek help.

A Latinx student with protected status under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is told by menacing students to “go back where you came from”—she worries about whether she can stay in the United States and feels marginalized and uncertain about whom she can trust; a Muslim student experiencing Islamophobia reports being eyed with suspicion on campus and derided for praying; an American Indian student experiences isolation and stress due to the stark contrast between his home culture and the highly competitive and individualized university environment. The loneliness and distress build without a support network to turn to and begin to affect his academic work and daily life.

These are just a few of the challenges faced by students of color on college campuses across the country. Students of color can experience a variety of difficult situations contributing to experiencing greater psychological distress than white students: being victims of micro-aggressions and racism, Islamophobia, cyberbullying; encountering culture-related extreme expectations; and experiencing isolation and loneliness from the often vast differences between home culture and environment and that of school. Difficulties posed by these circumstances may be worsened when students lack a supportive social network and face barriers to seeking help.

Not all students of color who confront these risks to well-being will experience emotional distress. Protective factors can limit the impact—thus the adage: risk factors are not predictive factors because of protective factors. For example, social support, cultural pride, the sense of belonging that comes from interacting with others with a similar cultural background, and resources on campus designed to assist students of color to adapt to the campus environment can make a positive difference in their adjustment and emotional well-being.

The United States is becoming more diverse, and the higher education setting is no exception, with approximately 40 percent of college and university students identifying themselves as black, Latinx, Asian, Native American, and mixed race. In contrast, less than 25 percent of faculty members are people of color. This has created a dearth of faculty role models and lack of faculty familiar with the psychosocial challenges students of color encounter.

College students of color face a unique situation in the vortex of transitional age and a racially polarized society where negative stereotypes of people of color are common. The traditional age of college attendance, 18 to 24 years, is not only a time of change and stress as they transition into adulthood—it also is a period when many mental illnesses first appear. It should be noted that college students of color have similar rates of mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, compared to their white peers.

But a recent national survey found that compared to white students, students of color report higher rates of emotional distress in their freshman year and of keeping their difficulties to themselves. Stigma, reluctance to seek help for mental health needs, and cultural mistrust of mental health professionals among students of color are barriers that often lead them to suffer in silence. In fact, a disparity in seeking counseling services exists between students of color and white students—students of color are half as likely as their white counterparts to seek help.

The Steve Fund has focused its efforts on reducing the risks that students of color face and removing the barriers to seeking help, before, during, and after college. In partnership with the JED Foundation, the Steve Fund has established an Equity in Mental Health Framework with a set of recommendations to support the mental health of college students of color, such as increasing diversity of faculty and staff, making resources that support the mental health of students of color available and publicizing them, and gathering data to increase understanding about how to meet students’ mental health needs.

In the past few years, a number of organizations and universities have developed programs and resources that focus on the mental health and emotional well-being of the student of color population. Examples of programs, some of which are in partnership with the Steve Fund, include:

  • Crisis Text Line—nationwide crisis counselor support via text
  • Kognito—educating students and faculty about mental health and suicide prevention
  • 7 Cups—providing direct emotional support to students
  • Project RISE—a peer counseling service at the University of Virginia
  • YB Men—a social media-based educational and social support program for young black men
  • Native American Cultural Center at Stanford University (CA)—supporting the Native American student community

A few key points to keep in mind and suggestions for how to support the mental health and well-being of students of color:

Silence = stigma. Help ensure that mental health is brought out of the shadows. Create forums in which mental health can be discussed openly among students, faculty, and staff. Kaiser Permanente’s Find Your Words campaign and StoryCorps are two examples that are helping the public, including young people, talk about mental health.

Knowledge is power. Help educate faculty, staff, students, and others about mental health, such as through the Mental Health First Aid training program. Have a trainer who can tailor the training to the culture of the audience.

One size does not fit all. Programs, services, and resources may need tailoring to meet the needs of different cultural, racial, or religious groups.

Treatment works. Many types of mental health services, including various types of psychotherapy and medication and other approaches can help treat and manage mental illness and psychological distress.

Self-care. Mental health concerns or psychological distress may not require psychiatric care or psychotherapy. There are many things that students can do for themselves to support their mental health and well-being through self-care strategies, such as exercise, healthy eating, supportive friendships, relaxation, yoga, mindfulness, and more. Psychologist Howard Stevenson suggests that when confronting micro-aggressions and racial insults, learning how to respond with a comeback on the spot is a great way to help prevent hurtful encounters from festering in the mind and triggering a lingering sense of victimhood.

Care for the caregivers. Seek out opportunities to equip families with knowledge about mental health and culturally sensitive resources available on campus for students of color.

Culture counts. Recruit and retain faculty, staff, and mental health providers of color if possible; at a minimum, provide cultural competence education and training.

Nothing about us without us. Involve students of color on an ongoing basis in developing programs and resources for them. Utilize trained peer supporters because students often are more receptive to suggestions to seek help from their peers.

Use technology. Take advantage of available technology to help increase access for young people of color. (Examples include Crisis Text Line, Kognito, 7 Cups, and YB Men.)

And possibly most importantly, keep in mind the adage risk factors are not predictive factors because of protective factors. The existence of risk factors does not singularly determine an individual’s path or outcome. Proactive policies and procedures that support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color and counteract negative forces that alienate and marginalize them can make a difference in the lives of many students.

 

Read the article




Article: Diverse Issues In Higher Education op-ed refers readers to Steve Fund

Posted: March 28, 2018 3:00 pm
 

The Politics of Mental Health

March 27, 2018 Dr. Kalilah L. Brown-Dean

[…] Over the last year, I’ve lost two former students to suicide. Both bright, determined, outgoing young men of color. Both reconciling past trauma and current challenges. Both taken away too soon in shocking circumstances. Their lives hold meaning far beyond the circumstances of their deaths. Together, they are a perpetual reminder to all of us to look beyond the well-crafted public veneers to better address what we can do, collectively, to erase the stigma of mental illness.

NAMI reports that suicide is the second-leading cause of death of young people between the ages of 10 and 24. Ten. The same age as Ashawnty Davis, who took her life after confronting her bully. As the late Dr. Maya Angelou cautions, “Words are things. You must be careful. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words.”

If you are the parent, grandparent, auntie, village member of a young person in college, make a concerted effort to call and check on them as they navigate the second half of this semester. “Put your eyes” on them. Ask about more than just classes and grades. Ask them what they’re doing beyond the classroom to manage stress and life. Offer to be a listening ear, but recognize your own limitations. Help them to identify campus and local support resources. Consult organizations such as The Steve Fund that work to support students of color. Support your friends who work on college campuses and care for young people.

Stop believing that mental health challenges can just be prayed away. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It makes you better.

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an associate professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University, where she writes about American politics, political psychology and public policy. You can follow her on Twitter @KBDPHD.

 

Read the article




Article: Yale Daily News report on 2018 Black Solidarity Conference mentions Steve Fund

Posted: March 23, 2018 6:29 am
 

Solidarity conference draws over 750

Feb 12, 2018  Alice Park, Staff Reporter

Over 750 students from across the country this past weekend attended the 23rd annual Black Solidarity Conference at Yale. The event is Yale’s largest undergraduate conference and brings students of color together each year to discuss issues related to the African diaspora.

The conference centered on the theme “Let’s Get It On: Deconstructing Sex, Sexuality, and Gender in the Black Community” and featured lectures, panels, networking events and social activities. With speakers discussing topics like black hypermasculinity, queerness, sexualization of black bodies and mental health, the event aimed to create space for participants to challenge traditional notions of sexuality and gender, as well as to explore their intersectional identities. […]

The conference also included a career fair with representatives from Google, The Steve Fund, Harvard Business School’s MBA program and other corporate sponsors. On Friday night, students participated in a talent show and attended a concert at Toad’s Place featuring a performance by the rapper Dej Loaf.  […]

 

Read the article




Article: The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports Anuja Khemka’s appointment as Executive Director

Posted: February 16, 2018 6:29 pm
 

Former Corporate Philanthropy Player Will Lead the Steve Fund

NEWS AND ANALYSIS
FEBRUARY 16, 2018 

MJ Prest

Anuja Khemka, a nonprofit consultant and senior strategy and programs adviser at this charity, which is dedicated to improving the mental well-being of minority students, has been elevated to executive director.

Read the article




ANUJA KHEMKA, EXPERIENCED NON-PROFIT, PHILANTHROPIC AND CORPORATE LEADER, TAKES HELM AT THE STEVE FUND

Posted: February 6, 2018 3:02 pm
 

ANUJA KHEMKA, EXPERIENCED NON-PROFIT, PHILANTHROPIC AND CORPORATE LEADER,
TAKES HELM AT THE STEVE FUND

Anuja Khemka has been named Executive Director of the Steve Fund, the nation’s only non-profit focused on the mental health of students of color.

NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2018 — Anuja Khemka, MSW, a former Vice President at the JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy group, Program Officer at the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and nonprofit consultant has been named Executive Director of the Steve Fund. The three -year-old non-profit is the nation’s only organization focused on the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.

Anuja Khemka

Mrs. Khemka has been serving as the Steve Fund’s Senior Strategy and Programs Adviser since the early days of the Fund. She was instrumental in many of the Fund’s major projects. Her recent focus was on expanding the Steve Fund’s Programs and Services to assist colleges, universities and nonprofits, including workshops, webinars, expert speakers, training and technical assistance led by multicultural mental health research and practice experts.

Anuja Khemka has 15 years of experience working in the corporate and philanthropic sector focusing on corporate social responsibility, grants management and program implementation, thought leadership, and fundraising. Khemka was a Vice President at the JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy group focusing on business management, strategy, and communications. Previously, she was a Program Officer at the Goldman Sachs Foundation managing a large portfolio of grantees and supporting program planning, evaluation, and capacity building. Prior to that, Khemka worked at the Private Equity Group in Goldman Sachs focusing on investor relations/fundraising, as well as Institutional sales in the Goldman Sachs Asset Management where she worked with the firm’s largest clients in the US and Canada.

Khemka was a Management Fellow at Columbia University, where she received her Masters in Social Work. She completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University with a BA in Business Economics. Her work in philanthropy has been featured in Huffington Post, Forbes, the New York Times and Stanford Social Innovation Review.

“Anuja Khemka has been instrumental not only in the creation of the Fund but in making it what it is today,” says Evan Rose, President of the Board of the Steve Fund. “Her leadership has made the Steve Fund the nation’s go-to place for all matters related to supporting the mental health of students of color. We are thrilled that Anuja has accepted the board’s offer to become Executive Director.”

“I am incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to lead the Steve Fund at a time when our mission of improving support for the mental health of students of color at America’s colleges and universities has become even more pressing. I truly believe that the Fund, together with its strategic partners and supporters, will be able to create transformational change in America’s higher education institutions, to the benefit of students of color, and ultimately, to the benefit of all students.”

Studies show that students of color at American colleges and universities are almost twice as likely not to seek help when they feel depressed or anxious. They also report more micro-aggressions than their European American counterparts. These mental health disparities also correlate to persistence outcomes. Only 49% of African Americans students complete their 4-year college education, compared to 71% of white, non-Hispanic students, according to a CollegeBoard report.

Recent activities of the Steve Fund include:

  • The publication, in partnership with the Jed Foundation, of the Equity in Mental Health Framework, with ten evidence-informed recommendations and implementation strategies for improving support of the mental health of students of color on college and university campuses.
  • A partnership with Crisis Text Line, an online crisis support service, and with the Knight Foundation to enable students of color to text the keyword “Steve” to 741741 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Steve Fund scholarships for young scholars to research psychological challenges confronting their respective populations, in cooperation with four notable U.S. mental health organizations.
  • A convening for more than 350 leaders in mental health and higher education for the Steve Fund’s fourth annual Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania last November.
  • Partnerships with organizations such as Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), the NAACP, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow as part of the Steve Fund’s efforts to bring mental health programming to organizations serving people of color.

In 2018, the Steve Fund plans to focus on supporting implementation of the Equity in Mental Health Framework at higher-education institutions, expanding the Steve Fund’s Knowledge Center and Programs and Services, adding activities that support young people of color in the transition from college to life beyond, and expanding the Fund’s activities that support their families.

About the Steve Fund

The Steve Fund is the nation’s only organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. The Steve Fund works with colleges and universities, non-profits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s young people of color. The Fund holds an annual conference, Young, Gifted & @Risk, offers a Knowledge Center with curated expert information, delivers on-campus and on-site programs and services at colleges and non-profits nationwide, and through tech partnerships provides direct services to young people of color.

Learn more at http://www.stevefund.org. Follow us on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Media Contact: Brian Akerman, brian.ackerman@archetypalmedia.com





A Reflection on 2017

Posted: December 19, 2017 6:18 pm
 

Dear friends,

Please allow me, therefore, to share with you some personal reflections on this past year, of concern and hope, through the lens of the Steve Fund’s mission of supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.

When we started the Steve Fund three and a half years ago, we knew that colleges and universities had an urgent need to improve support for the mental health of students of color. Over the last year, we have experienced significant stresses of violence, hate crimes and changes in immigration policy. The bottom line is: Almost everybody is experiencing more stress these days. But for young people of color, maintaining mental health and emotional well-being has, without a doubt, become especially more challenging.

But then, there are new hopes…

At the Steve Fund, we are nourished with a feeling of hope from being immersed in the work of improving the support for the mental health of young people of color. Highlights this year included:

  • A massive build-out of our programs and services, designed to assist colleges, universities and nonprofits in improving their support of the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.
  • A social media campaign and reaching out to over 100 potential partners to promote our partnership with Crisis Text Line, a service allowing young people to text “STEVE” to 741741 to be connected with a crisis counselor 24/7.
  • Partnering with the University of Pennsylvania for the Fund’s fourth national conference, Young, Gifted & @Risk, with a standing-room-only audience of 350 participants from 25 states (click here to watch a two-minute video with video vignettes from the conference).
  • Teaming up with 56 higher education and pipeline organizations, touching almost one million students with crucial information about student-of-color mental health support.

Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble expresses a big hope in this video (if you do not see this image, click allow images in your email program)One of our most important milestones in 2017 was the launch of the Equity in Mental Health Framework in partnership with the JED Foundation. This framework provides ten expert recommendations and implementation strategies for colleges and universities to support and enhance the mental health of students of color. It is our most strategic endeavor to date. There has never been anything like it in the history of American higher education. For the first time, colleges and universities now have concrete expert guidelines and strategies for better supporting the mental health of students of color.

For 2018, the implementation of the Equity in Mental Health Framework will be an important focus of the Steve Fund’s work.

Thank you for your interest. Thank you for your involvement. Thank you for your support.

May you and your loved ones enjoy health, peace, happiness–and hope–in 2018.

Sincerely
Evan M. Rose
President of the Board
The Steve Fund





Cincinnati Herald reports on Equity in Mental Health Framework

Posted: December 19, 2017 6:12 pm
 

The Cincinnati Herald reports on the Equity in Mental Health Framework.

 





Article: Penn Current reports on Young, Gifted & @Risk 2017 conference

Posted: November 30, 2017 2:02 pm
 

Conference explores unique mental health challenges of students of color

Penn and its Counseling and Psychological Services team recently partnered with the Steve Fund for the Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference

Earlier this month, nearly 350 people from at least 25 states gathered at Houston Hall for the Steve Fund’s fourth annual Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference, a partnership with Penn and its Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) team.

The event was the nonprofit’s largest turnout yet, with researchers, faculty, staff, students, family members, and mental health professionals all uniting under one cause: to better understand and address the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.

Read the article





Article: Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports on Steve Fund’s Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference

Posted: November 20, 2017 1:25 pm
 

Article: Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports on Steve Fund’s Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference

November 15, 2017

PHILADELPHIA—More than ever, American college and university students are seeking counseling and other mental health services to deal with issues like depression and anxiety.  At the same time, students of color face additional stress and are less likely to access mental care because of their race and ethnicity.

.

The Steve Fund—an organization dedicated to promoting the mental health and well-being of young people of color—is working to overcome these challenges specifically on college campuses. Each year, the group brings together college counselors, psychologists, academics, school officials and other mental health workers to highlight the issues that place students of color at a greater risk for mental illness.

This year, over 300 attendees from higher education institutions across the nation gathered at the University of Pennsylvania to participate in the 2018 Young, Gifted & @ Risk forum.

Read the article





Please support the Steve Fund on Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Posted: November 17, 2017 4:33 pm
 

Please support the Steve Fund on Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2017

This year, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the Steve Fund joins the global Giving Tuesday movement. This a is day dedicated to giving – when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more will all come together for #GivingTuesday – a movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the holiday season that we are proud to be part of.

Please join the Giving Tuesday movement by helping the Steve Fund support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. There is an urgent need. Research indicates that students of color at American colleges and universities are almost twice as likely not to seek care when they feel depressed or anxious compared to white students. Inequity in mental health is a dire national problem which impedes well-being of communities of color. Our young people face daunting challenges as they transition to adulthood, including those fortunate enough to pursue higher education. Your support is critical to the mental health, college completion, and life chances of the nation’s most rapidly growing demographic and the population which drives our work—young people of color.

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. It is a celebration of America’s greatest traditions: generosity, entrepreneurialism, community. Everyone has something to give. You can give time or expertise, monetary donations large or small, simple acts of kindness, food or clothing.

Please remember to support the Steve Fund, on Giving Tuesday on November 28, or at any other time. You can donate at www.stevefund.org/donate

Thank you.





Article: Hundreds gathered at Penn Tuesday to discuss how to improve the mental health of minority students

Posted: November 16, 2017 10:46 pm
 

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports on the fourth annual Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference.

Hundreds gathered at Penn Tuesday to discuss how to improve the mental health of minority students

Hundreds of experts, administrators, professors, and students from across the country gathered in Houston Hall on Nov. 14 to share ideas on how to promote mental health among students of color.

The Steve Fund, an organization focused on supporting the mental health of young people of color, paired up with Penn’s Counseling and Psychological Services to host a conference titled “Young, Gifted, and At-Risk.”

The conference, which is in its fourth year, featured speaker events and panel discussions. Speakers also encouraged audience members to talk among themselves about how racist events affect their well-being and the well-being of others on their campuses.

Read the full article





September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Posted: November 9, 2017 11:55 am
 

Take Action!

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  The Steve Fund makes it easy for institutions and individuals to get involved in supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.  Here are some ways to join us on your campus:


Promote the Free, 24/7 Steve Keyword Crisis Text Service

The Steve Fund has created a special keyword, STEVE, that young people of color can text to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7, confidentially, for free.

The Steve Fund’s advertising efforts for the keyword service have reached over half a million students of color throughout the country and usage has increased by 300% during 2017.  Our campus partnership network is carrying the message about the service to university counseling centers and campus activity centers throughout the country.  Join us by emailing programs@stevefund.org with the subject line “STEVE Keyword Partnership.”


Host a Steve Fund Expert Workshop

We offer an array of programs and services designed to assist both higher education institutions and nonprofits.  Our workshops and webinars are designed and delivered by experts from psychology, psychiatry, social work, and research backgrounds.

Campuses can support the transitions of young people of color from home to college, college persistence, and college to career through our self-care workshops which address microagressions, imposter syndrome, perceived discrimination, stereotypes, and LGBTQ issues.  We also offer workshops for parents and technical assistance for faculty, staff, and administrators.  Email programs@stevefund.org with the subject line: Host an Expert.


Offer the Kognito At Risk for College Students Simulation

At-Risk for College Students is a 30-minute online mental health simulation. In the simulation, users enter a virtual environment and engage in a series of interactive exercises including a simulated conversation with a virtual student who exhibits signs of psychological distress including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.  The simulation is listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry for Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and in Section III of the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry.

To sign up for the service, please email programs@stevefund.org.





A special message from the Steve Fund

Posted: November 9, 2017 11:44 am
 

Dear friend,

It is with great excitement that I’m writing you today to let you know that there exists now, for the first time, a framework of expert recommendations for colleges and universities to support and enhance the mental health of students of color. We call it the “Equity in Mental Health Framework” (EMHF). The Steve Fund was instrumental in developing this framework over the course of more than two years, together with our partner the Jed Foundation.

I believe it is our most important endeavor to date, and here is why:

Evan M. Rose, President of the Board, the Steve Fund

The EMHF provides academic institutions for the first time with a clear set of strategies to strengthen their activities and programs for the mental health benefit of students of color. We have built the recommendations upon a solid foundation including a national Harris Poll of 1,000 racially diverse college students, a scientific literature review, a national convening of higher education leaders, and a national survey of higher education administrators co-led by the College Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital.

The framework fills an urgent gap at colleges and universities. Of the over 20 million students enrolled in American colleges and universities, four out of ten self-identify as a student of color. While all college students face a variety of challenges including social, emotional, financial, and academic pressures, students of color often experience additional sources of psychological distress compared to their white peers. Discrimination, imposterism, stigma, cultural mistrust, and feelings of isolation are among the factors that can adversely impact the mental and emotional well-being of students of color.

When we started the Steve Fund in 2014, we knew that colleges and universities had a vital role to play in filling urgent gaps to better support the mental health of young people of color in our society and on our nation’s campuses. We did not suspect, however, that the situation would become even more dire as developments have unfolded over the recent year. Think of Charlottesville. Think of the anxiety of Dreamers who have to worry about deportation.

The reality is: Students of color face unique challenges. With the Equity in Mental Health Framework, Colleges and universities now have a new, powerful tool to address this issue, thanks to the actionable recommendations and implementation strategies that are part of the framework. It is an exciting time for the Steve Fund as we release this important work now with our partner JED and look to build new tools to help protect the mental health of students of color.

We encourage you to visit www.equityinmentalhealth.org to learn more and download the framework. And thank you for your continued interest in and support of the Steve Fund.

Sincerely
Evan Rose
President of the Board
The Steve Fund

P.S.: Click here to read the joint official news release by the Steve Fund and the Jed Foundation about the launch of the Equity in Mental Health Framework.





September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Posted: September 25, 2017 9:29 pm
 

Take Action!

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  The Steve Fund makes it easy for institutions and individuals to get involved in supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.  Here are some ways to join us on your campus:


Promote the Free, 24/7 Steve Keyword Crisis Text Service

The Steve Fund has created a special keyword, STEVE, that young people of color can text to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7, confidentially, for free.

The Steve Fund’s advertising efforts for the keyword service have reached over half a million students of color throughout the country and usage has increased by 300% during 2017.  Our campus partnership network is carrying the message about the service to university counseling centers and campus activity centers throughout the country.  Join us by emailing programs@stevefund.org with the subject line “STEVE Keyword Partnership.”


Host a Steve Fund Expert Workshop

We offer an array of programs and services designed to assist both higher education institutions and nonprofits.  Our workshops and webinars are designed and delivered by experts from psychology, psychiatry, social work, and research backgrounds.

Campuses can support the transitions of young people of color from home to college, college persistence, and college to career through our self-care workshops which address microagressions, imposter syndrome, perceived discrimination, stereotypes, and LGBTQ issues.  We also offer workshops for parents and technical assistance for faculty, staff, and administrators.  Email programs@stevefund.org with the subject line: Host an Expert.


Offer the Kognito At Risk for College Students Simulation

At-Risk for College Students is a 30-minute online mental health simulation. In the simulation, users enter a virtual environment and engage in a series of interactive exercises including a simulated conversation with a virtual student who exhibits signs of psychological distress including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.  The simulation is listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry for Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and in Section III of the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry.

To sign up for the service, please email programs@stevefund.org.





Ready for school? The Steve Fund offers support.

Posted: September 14, 2017 3:32 pm
 

Ready for school?

Heading back to school can be a bittersweet time. Anxiety about classes, friends, and recent events in the news can leave many students hesitant to return.

That’s why we have developed programs you can rely on to make this transition easier for you and your families!

A study by the Steve Fund and the JED Foundation, conducted by Harris Poll, indicates that 33% of students of color identify maintaining their mental health on campus as very or extremely stressful. The Steve Fund has responded with a suite of workshops and programs to help colleges, universities, families, and students navigate this time, feel confident, and be prepared to tackle the new school year.

Support for Students

  • Self-Care Workshop: To ease the transition between home and college, this session will provide students of color with practical tools for managing stress and maintaining success in a new environment. Topics discussed will include micro-aggressions, imposter syndrome, non-belonging and isolation, and perceived discrimination. Guidance on the value of peer networks, support systems, and how to seek help will be emphasized.
  • Series for LGBTQ Students: Led by Steve Fund experts, these workshops will focus on the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ students of color. The session will offer empowerment strategies to this population on how to cope with their daily stresses.
  • STEVE Crisis Text Messaging Service: The Steve Fund has partnered with Crisis Text Line to offer a free, on-demand crisis counseling service via text messaging. If you know students of color who are feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, please let them know they can text STEVE to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.

Support for Parents and Families:

  • Support for Parents and Families: This webinar series focuses on challenges faced by students of color during college/early adulthood and ways in which parents can support their children and help them to thrive both in college and life beyond it. Our services include the coordination of discussions with parents – both online and on campus.

For more information on these programs and services, please contact programs@stevefund.org or visit www.stevefund.org/services.

Learn about the Equity in Mental Health Framework

  • The new Equity in Mental Health Framework (EMHF) is a tool designed to identify and implement best practices that address the mental health needs of racially diverse students. In a 2017 survey, commissioned by the Steve Fund and JED Foundation and conducted by Harris Poll, data indicates that nearly one in five students of color (18%) feel that programs and events are actions that schools can take to help them feel more comfortable, supported, and cared for on campus. In keeping with this theme, the EMHF includes ten key recommendations and how to implement them. We will be releasing the EMHF this fall; in the interim, sign up for updates at www.equityinmentalhealth.org.

Connect with our Youth Advisory Board:

  • The Steve Fund Youth Advisory Board (YAB): Gather with peers to promote the importance of mental health and emotional well-being on your campus. You will provide a critical voice on all Steve Fund efforts; maximize the Fund’s impact among young people of color; create innovative strategy; and connect peers to mental health resources. Contact Shila Burney (shilaburney@gmail.com) to join our YAB.




A statement by the Steve Fund regarding the the repeal of DACA

Posted: September 6, 2017 1:16 pm
 

A statement by the Steve Fund regarding the repeal of DACA

The following can be attributed to Dr. Terri Wright, Executive Director of the Steve Fund:

“As an organization dedicated to the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color, the Steve Fund is extremely concerned about the impact of repealing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This repeal will affect mostly young persons of color, also known as Dreamers.

Most DACA recipients are Latinx and Hispanics. The repeal strikes at the core of the population the Steve Fund cares about. Most of these young people have only known one home all their lives, the United States. One cannot fathom the mental anguish and emotional stress they must feel right now at the possibility of being deported to countries that they barely remember.

There are few stresses more profound than the possibility of being forcefully extracted from your community, from your loved ones, and from your home, and be deported to a place with which you have no familiarity. The Steve Fund will be unwavering in its mission of promoting the mental health and well-being of young people of color including students of color.

We will explore every way in which we can support those affected mentally and emotionally by the DACA repeal. If you know any Dreamers who might be anguished about the repeal of DACA, please let them know that they can text “STEVE” to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor 24/7.“





The Psychological Impact of Charlottesville – Steve Fund Podcast #3

Posted: August 25, 2017 7:02 pm
 

Steve Fund Podcast #3: The Psychological Impact of Charlottesville

Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble / Dr. David Rivera

What is the psychological impact on students of color of the recent events in Charlottesville, involving racist violence? Steve Fund Podcast host Dr. Terry Wright speaks with two medical experts: Dr. Alfiee Breland Noble, Senior Scientific Advisor to the Steve Fund, and Dr. David Rivera, associate professor of counselor education at Queens College, City University of New York.

Please click the red play button below to listen to the Steve Fund Podcast.





NPR reports on college mental health, quotes Steve Fund

Posted: August 24, 2017 12:26 pm
 

The NPR show Marketplace reports on the growing need for mental health services at American Colleges. The reporter, Amy Scott, also spoke with the Steve Fund’s Executive Director, Dr. Terri Wright.  “Stigma is a huge issue in the lives of students of color and what it means to seek services and admit that I need help, when in fact I feel like, as a young person of color, that I’m already being judged differently,” Dr. Wright says in the report.

Listen and read at marketplace.org

You can also listen to the report by clicking the play button below.





Thania Galvan is the 2017 Stephen Rose Scholarship Awardee

Posted: August 16, 2017 3:29 pm
 

Thania Galvan

Please join us in congratulating Thania Galvan, a doctoral student in the clinical psychology PhD program at the University of Denver, as the 2017 Stephen Rose Scholarship Awardee.

Thania recently completed her M.A. in child clinical psychology at the University of Denver, where she is a Ph.D. candidate. Her personal history navigating the differences between American and Mexican culture and values as a Latina immigrant born in Mexico to adolescent parents forms the basis for Thania’s research interest and career pursuits. Her dissertation will use a culturally and contextually sensitive framework to develop a mental health intervention focused on building resiliency in children of undocumented Latinx immigrants. She will continue working with Dr. Omar Gudino, her research mentor, in the university’s Services for At-Risk Youth and Families (SAYF) Lab that he directs. Among Thania’s research experiences that have increased her awareness of the impact of and need for culturally and contextually sensitive research and interventions, she was mentored on risk and resiliency factors associated with mental health outcomes in Latinx and other ethnically diverse youth as a recipient of a Diversity Supplement Award from the NIMH. On another project, she explored the effectiveness of a psycho-educational intervention for Latinx youth at risk of developing severe mental disorders, and learned about the positive effect that culturally adapted interventions can have on treatment acceptability and outcomes. During her undergraduate B.A. program in psychology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, which she completed in 2011, Thania’s honor’s thesis explored the effects of language and maternal speech on language development.

Thania will present her research efforts at the 2018 National Latina/o Psychological Association (NLPA) convention. Below is a summary of what she stated as her research projects.

Summary

Mental Health Disparities and Mental Health Service Utilization among Latinx youth

In an attempt to better understand mental health disparities and mental health service utilization among Latinx youth, I am currently involved in two ongoing research projects.

The first of this is my own project exploring the influence of caregiver immigrant status and acculturation levels on differences in perceptions of need between internalizing and externalizing symptoms among Latinx youth. Based on a large, longitudinal database containing information collected from caregivers and youth who had active cases in one or more public sectors of care (Alcohol and Drug Services, Department of Social Services: Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, and Public School Services for Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances), this project is currently in the data analysis phase and primarily focuses on Latinx children in the early high school years (mean age = 14.64).

The second project is a mixed-methods approach to understanding barriers to mental health service utilization among Latinx youth. As such, this study focused on collecting data from different mental health stakeholders (e.g., mental health providers, families in services, families not in services, and agency mangers) in an attempt to better understand differences in perception of barriers to Latinx youth service utilization among those involved in the process. This project is in the beginning stages of the data analysis phase, and is expected to continue throughout the year. Potential questions that will be explored include looking at differences between each of the above-mentioned groups on the quantity and type of barriers identified, solutions offered to reduce those barriers, and areas of disagreement in problem identification and perceptions of need.





A statement by the Steve Fund regarding the events in Charlottesville

Posted: August 14, 2017 6:25 pm
 

A statement by the Steve Fund regarding the events in Charlottesville, VA

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue memorializing Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy’s top general. They marched with tiki torches, evoking images of the KKK and Nazi rallies. They were met by counter protesters. The situation became violent. Then, around 1:45 p.m., a car plowed into a group of counter protesters. Heather D. Heyer, 32, a paralegal from Charlottesville, was killed. 19 people were injured. In total, 34 people were wounded in the confrontations. Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia declared a state of emergency.

The Steve Fund condemns the violence, the hate crimes, and the racist movements that drive them. We are deeply concerned beyond the immediate impact of the events. Across the nation, young people of color are exposed to images that represent nothing short of profound racial trauma: Torch-bearing Neo-Nazis… Images of racist violence and hatred and bigotry… A car barreling into counter protesters…

These images and events will have a profound adverse impact on the emotional well-being and mental health of young people of color across the nation.

The situation is made worse by the fact that students of color are underserved compared to white students for their mental health concerns, as evidenced in a 2016 Harris Poll conducted online among 1,500 second-semester freshmen. For a young person of color who is already feeling depressed or anxious, events such as the ones in Charlottesville can exacerbate their emotional and mental health status. Further, the racial trauma engendered by such events, generally causes significant concern for young people of color and their families.

With the fall semester about to start around the nation, students of color everywhere, not just at the University of Virginia, now experience even more intense anxiety about their college experience. Likewise, their parents have even more reason to worry about the physical and emotional well-being of their children while away from home.

Research shows that differences in the ethnic background of students necessitate culturally specific approaches to supporting their mental health and emotional well-being.

It is more urgent than ever that universities implement culturally appropriate strategies and dedicate sufficient resources in support of the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.

There are immediate resources to give young people of color. The Steve Fund has partnered with Crisis Text Line to provide a text messaging service to connect young people of color to crisis counseling. If you know young persons of color who feel anxious, depressed or stressed, please let them know that they can text “STEVE” to 741741 to connect with a live, trained crisis counselor 24/7.

The Steve Fund and The Jed Foundation have also partnered to create the Equity in Mental Health Framework with expert recommendations for America’s colleges and universities to better support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. This framework is based on a systematic literature review; a survey of existing evidence-based programs; expert input from mental health and higher education leaders; and a survey of more than 1,000 racially diverse students and expert feedback from students themselves. It will be released later in 2017. It is our hope that the Equity in Mental Health Framework will empower colleges and universities across the nation to significantly improve the support for the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.

To sign up for updates about the Equity in Mental Health Framework, please visit http://www.equityinmentalhealth.org/

The Steve Fund is working with higher education leaders across the nation to improve support for the mental health and emotional well-being of college and university students of color. If you are a leader in higher education and would like to connect with us for advice, program options, and resources, please email us at info@stevefund.org. There is also more information on the Steve Fund’s Programs and Services page.

With people of color forming the majority of Americans by 2044 (by 2020 for children), the future success of our nation will depend on the mental health and emotional well-being of all student populations, and on colleges and universities to provide support appropriately.

In these troubled times, our focus on the emotional well-being and mental health of college and university students of color is more urgent than ever.





News coverage: Psychiatric News reports on mental health of students of color

Posted: July 28, 2017 5:59 pm
 

American Psychiatric Association reports on students of color mental health

Psychiatric News, the print and electronic news service of the American Psychiatric Association, is reporting on the subject of mental health of students of color in an article on a recent panel session led by Dr. Annelle Primm, the senior medical advisor to the Steve Fund. The article cites Dr. Primm’s co-presenters with insights and observations on groups including Asian-American, Hispanic, and Native American students of color.

Read the article




Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Deidra Dain, Senior Advisor for Programs

Posted: July 28, 2017 2:16 pm
 

Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Deidra Dain, Senior Advisor for Programs

Deidra Dain

What do you do for The Steve Fund?
In my role as Senior Advisor for Programs, I serve the Steve Fund in a variety of ways, starting with designing programs and services that deliver useful information and tools backed by research and evidence. I also help identify and develop partnerships with higher education and nonprofit organizations which serve high school and college students of color who are preparing for and entering college, proceeding through college, and transitioning to careers. Many of our nonprofit partners are increasingly cognizant of the value of mental health and emotional wellness in their scholars’ overall health, academic performance, and sense of self, and they want to do all they can to support the students and their family members. Steve Fund experts deliver programs to numerous students, coaches, counselors, staff, and faculty from an array of organizations across the U.S.

I also help facilitate other initiatives at the Steve Fund, such as targeting relevant professional conferences, collaborating on designing presentation content, and monitoring conference evaluations so we can continually improve our deliveries. I greatly appreciate working with the knowledge leaders and other practitioners who present on behalf of the Steve Fund as we create and implement learning opportunities during conferences, organization-specific small and large group session, both in-person and online.

Another area of programming I’m involved in is the development and management of scholarship administration with professional psychological associations whose members represent underserved populations. We support undergraduate and graduate students of color from these associations in their research of mental health issues with the goal of improving outcomes and raising more awareness.

What got you involved with The Steve Fund?
I first became involved with the Steve Fund in October 2015, following a referral by Dr. Annelle Primm. I’ve worked with Dr. Primm for about  eight years on a few different behavioral health initiatives. As the Steve Fund was starting up, co-founder Stephanie Bell-Rose and I enjoyed several conversations about the needs of the emerging organization. Given my background in organizational behavior and development, minority behavioral health, and program management, we discovered a lot of common areas of interest and need.

What fuels your passion for this work?
It’s extremely rewarding to be actively involved in contributing to approaches that can improve outcomes for people who have otherwise not had access, or for some reason, have not sought help for mental health issues. Stigma is a huge barrier for so many people, and I feel strongly that we can help to change that paradigm–by supporting research, providing information, engaging in conversations that support the interconnectedness of mental health and physical health, and by encouraging peer groups to form and find strength in their culturally specific ways. Hope underlies all journeys of health and wellness; I am passionate about spreading that message.

What are your future goals with The Steve Fund?
I look forward to serving our team as we further advance the Steve Fund’s mission with more individuals and organizations. We have a lot of work to do! So much depends on communicating with stakeholders about who we are, what we do, and pursuing partnership opportunities with others so we can all leverage our capabilities, and truly transform people, organizations, and communities.





Join the Steve Fund for a Twitter Chat on July 26

Posted: July 24, 2017 7:47 pm
 

Join Our Twitter Chat

What’s Happening: The Steve Fund will be hosting our very first Live Twitter Chat July 26th from 12pm-3:00 pm, and the topic will be “How can The Steve Fund engage with students of color?” We’ll be tweeting out a question every half hour using the hashtag #askaboutsteve.

How you can participate: You can find these questions on your Twitter feed by following us on Twitter, or you can search for #askaboutsteve with the Twitter search bar. If you want to answer any of our questions, you can tag @thestevefund and use #askaboutsteve in your responses so that we can find and respond to them!

Question? Please email stephen@stevefund.org.





The Challenge of Moving on from College for the Young Person of Color

Posted: July 20, 2017 1:07 pm
 

“The Challenge  of Moving on from College  for the Young Person of Color”

By Alexandra Williams

This post is part of the Steve Fund’s celebration of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, July 2017

Transitions are difficult. Four years ago at this time, I had just graduated high school and was preparing for the next four years of my life in college. By preparing, I mean frantically looking up my future roommates on Facebook, perusing class options and extracurriculars I could be interested in, and eagerly counting down the days until I would be living “on my own.” College was this beautiful and magical place that I had worked so hard to reach, and now it was here, and I was going to have full reign to make it mine. I participated in a first-year orientation program called Cultural Connections that started before the rest of the undergraduate class arrived on campus. I was able to learn how to get around, develop relationships with dozens of my peers – some of whom would continue to be my best friends throughout all four years, and get to know upperclassmen who were our counselors for the week. I was eased into the newness and chaos of college through this program, and subsequently found it easier to have my bearings from the get-go.

Once the other first years arrived on campus, we had a week full of different orientation sessions, of icebreakers, and nonstop social gallivanting. But, my experience is not the same, nor perhaps even standard, for many first year students. Some students experience mental health problems for the first time during this transition period and must also grapple with identifying resources, seeking out support from psychological staff, or from friends that they hardly know yet. Other students become overwhelmed by the constant buzz and develop anxiety, becoming overpoweringly worried about if they’re taking the right classes, or going to enough parties, or meeting enough people. For students of color, particularly at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), their experience of isolation, fear, or anxiousness may be further exacerbated by existing systematic racism that exists in our society and on college campuses everywhere.

Now, it’s four years later. I made it through college and graduated! Yay! But, now, the next transition awaits, and this one, though exciting is also more daunting. From high school to college, there is a clear progression. From college to the “real world,” the steps are nonexistent. Who knows what exactly you should do or how? Who is going to give me a week-long orientation to “being an adult”? My peers are traveling more divergent roads now, some going into the workforce, others going to grad school, some traveling for a long period of time. College, we knew, or at least we felt like we knew from movies, or older siblings, or teachers, or mentors, what we were getting ourselves into.

For this post-college leap, everything seems a bit more in limbo. In particular, for students of color leaving college, the world again becomes a more “real” and therefore scarier place. There are realistic threats to our physical well-being such as indiscriminate police brutality and racially charged aggression, but there are also more acute threats to our emotional well-being. Daily, we may encounter microaggressions that belittle our intelligence or stereotype our behavior; our every move will be scrutinized from those navigating the same spaces we are. College, whether it was a positive experience or not, eventually became some semblance of a home. We found pockets of comfort and security, whether that be in the arms of friends, in the classroom, at our extracurriculars. In the real world, not everyone has that same sense of security and comfort right away, and for young people of color, that makes this next phase of life a much more strenuous place to thrive in.

I encourage you all to reach out to someone experiencing a transition in their life and talk to them about it, be there for them, learn from them, and continue to support organizations like The Steve Fund, as they work to ensure the mental health and emotional well-being of people of color stays intact, and flourishes, in these often difficult times.

Alexandra Williams was until recently a senior at Yale University majoring in political science with a concentration in urban studies. She serves as the National Youth Adviser of the Steve Fund and oversees the development and activities of the Youth Advisory Board and directs other youth engagement initiatives.





How you can volunteer for the Steve Fund

Posted: July 12, 2017 1:46 pm
 

How you can volunteer for the Steve Fund

Thank you for being a part of our community! This July for Minority Mental Health Month, we encourage you to get involved in raising awareness and promoting the emotional well-being of students of color. Check out this list for volunteer ideas:

  • Help us build our Steve Fund network by sending us information on mental health practitioners and organizations working to support young people of color in your community!
  • Submit a brief paragraph via  http://www.stevefund.org/contact/ highlighting local organizations, counselors, activists, or therapists committed to promoting the mental health of young people of color to be featured on our Facebook and Instagram (@TheSteveFund).
  • Volunteer as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line http://www.stevefund.org/crisistextline/
  • Encourage young people of color in your networks to apply for the Steve Fund’s Youth Advisory Board! http://www.stevefund.org/youth-advisory-board/
  • Participate in our Minority Mental Health Month Twitter Chat on July 26th from 12-3 PM ET using the hashtags  #askaboutsteve and #minoritymentalhealth
  • Share the Steve Fund Facebook page with 10 friends
  • Join the 7 Cups of Tea Young People of Color support group, sponsored by The Steve Fund as a trained active listener: https://www.7cups.com/home/poc/

Continue to email us with your programming ideas, suggestions, and topics you want to learn more about! We love hearing your feedback and it is essential to keep this organization growing in a direction that best serves young people of color across the country. http://www.stevefund.org/contact/





Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Stephen Berkemeier, Social Media Consultant

Posted: July 12, 2017 1:00 pm
 

Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Stephen Berkemeier, Social Media Consultant

What do you do for The Steve Fund?

Stephen Berkemeier

I’ve been with the Steve Fund for two years, and during that time I’ve had a number of different titles and responsibilities. Currently, I work as The Steve Fund’s social media consultant. I work with other team members to brainstorm and execute ideas for reaching out to our followers across our various social media accounts.

What got you involved with The Steve Fund?

I first heard of the Steve fund through an email that was forwarded to me by a mentor of mine. At the time I was working with Dr. Daphne Watkins on the early stages of the YBMen project (https://www.ybmenproject.com), and was looking for a job I could start during the summer. A short while after receiving the email, I was talking with Stephanie Bell-Rose (the founder of The Steve Fund) over the phone and learning more about what it was they were looking for. I loved the mission that The Steve Fund is built on and knew immediately that it was a cause that I wanted to be a part of. We hit it off, and shortly afterward I became a part of the team, and have stayed with them ever since.

What fuels your passion for this work?

My passion for our work comes from my lived experiences as a bi-racial individual and my passions for mental health in general. Firstly, my experiences as a bi-racial individual are constantly changing and affecting the lens through which I see the world. To other Latinos, I’m often considered as too white to be Latino, and to non-Latino cultures, I am considered to be fully Latino. In both scenarios, I am expected to identify and behave in whichever culture others have chosen for me.  This has led to many distressing experiences, and studying psychology for four years has made me keenly aware of the lack of research and resources available for individuals with experiences like mine. The Steve Fund has provided me with not only an opportunity to raise awareness of this cause but to work personally with some of the brilliant minds that are working vigilantly to rectify it.

What are your future goals with The Steve Fund?

I would love to see The Steve Fund become a focal point for researchers and students who are just as passionate as myself and the wonderful people I work with. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of their mental health with every passing day, and I want to see The Steve Fund play an integral role in getting students to a place, where they know taking care of their mental and emotional health is every bit as important as taking care of their physical health.





Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Dr. Annelle Primm, Senior Medical Advisor

Posted: July 6, 2017 12:27 pm
 

Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Dr. Annelle Primm, Senior Medical Advisor

Dr. Annelle Primm, Senior Medical Advisor

I serve in the role of Senior Medical Adviser of the Steve Fund and provide consultation on a variety of mental health issues as it relates to college students of color. I work with the Steve Fund team on developing its Young, Gifted, & at Risk conferences and also identify leaders, scholars, and resources that the Steve Fund can utilize to enlighten the public about its work.

I got involved with The Steve Fund because one of my physician colleagues from Baltimore, Dr. Gregory Branch, is a family member of Stephen C. Rose, the person for whom the Steve Fund is named. Dr. Branch knew of my work in psychiatry and cultural diversity at the American Psychiatric Association and asked me to work with Stephen’s family in developing the Steve Fund’s first Young, Gifted & at Risk Conference at Brown University in 2014. I have been involved with the Steve Fund ever since!

As a psychiatrist, I am keenly aware of the increased stress and pressures young people of color face before, during, and after college, especially in today’s polarized society. I want to be a part of the solution by working with the Steve Fund to enlighten family members, faculty, university administrators, and students themselves, to understand the needs of students of color and be intentional and deliberate about instituting protective factors to optimize their college experience.⠀

In the future I want the Steve Fund to be known across the nation among students and families of color and colleges and universities as the “go-to” resource for learning about the unique challenges students of color face and for implementing strategies to maximize their mental health and well-being.





Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Alexandra Williams, National Youth Advisor

Posted: July 3, 2017 3:49 pm
 

Meet the Steve Fund’s team: Alexandra Williams, National Youth Advisor

As the National Youth Advisor for the Steve Fund, my primary responsibilities include overseeing the Youth Advisory Board, providing comprehensive feedback on new and existing Steve Fund programming, and joining in on additional projects as needed! I also support the Steve Fund with contact database management. Last summer, I began the inaugural Youth Advisory Board and managed a group of nine college students across the country. The Youth Advisory Board provides critical feedback to Steve Fund programming and works on assignments designed to support the Steve Fund’s mission of promoting the mental health of students of color. The application for the 2017-2018 Youth Advisory Board is now open!

I initially began working with the Steve Fund in 2014 the summer after my first year of college at Yale University. Stephanie Bell-Rose, the founder of the organization, was a close friend of my family and knew of my interest in raising awareness about mental health issues for young people of color in particular. She talked to me about the organization while it was still in its “idea” phase and I was immediately inspired and excited to help out however possible. It is incredible to see how much the Steve Fund has grown in only three years.

My passion for this work is fueled by the necessity and importance of supporting marginalized individuals of color who are not only battling with the everyday instances of micro-aggressions, racism, xenophobia, and trauma but also may be struggling with a variety of mental health issues. Supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of my peers and our communities is essential in creating a more inclusive and harmonious society.
At the end of this summer I hope to finalize the next cohort of the Youth Advisory Board and identify two new Co-Chairs to lead the Board’s efforts! I also hope to optimize our digital presence and database management software by exploring new platforms that would benefit the Steve Fund as we continue to grow in size and in impact. In terms of long term goals, I hope the Steve Fund becomes a key player in improving mental health support and resources for people of color across the country, and eventually, across the globe.




Insight into Diversity reports on the Steve Fund

Posted: June 29, 2017 1:44 pm
 

Insight into Diversity is quoting Steve Fund executive director Dr. Terri Wright in an article about the Fund. “… while students of color aren’t necessarily experiencing higher rates of mental illness or emotional distress than others, their reactions to situations on campus are often informed by their racial or ethnic background. The challenge is uncovering what the unique needs of this particular population are, not because they experience mental illness more or are more at risk to become mentally ill, but because their life experiences are distinctive and unique,” Dr. Wright says.

Read the full article





Webinar (June 1, 2017): Impact of Campus and National Climate on Student Mental Health

Posted: May 16, 2017 8:00 pm
 

WEBINAR
Thursday, June 1st, 2017 from 2:00-3:00pm (EST)

Healthy Minds Network Webinar:
Impact of Campus and National Climate on Student Mental Health
Alfiee Breland-Noble, Ph.D., M.H.Sc.
Sara Abelson, M.P.H.
Joanne Ly
Becky Fein, M.P.H.

Join the University of Michigan and the Health Minds Network for its upcoming webinar on Thursday, June 1st from 2:00-3:00 pm EST, focused on the students’ mental health in today’s campus and national climates. The webinar will feature the Steve Fund’s Senior Scientific Adviser Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, as part of a panel of presenters from various professional backgrounds with unique experiences in understanding and advocating for the mental health of college students.

The presenters include: Alfiee Breland-Noble, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center, Director of the AAKOMA Project, and Lab and Senior Scientific Adviser for the Steve Fund; Sara Abelson, Ph.D. student at University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Consultant to Active Minds, Inc.; Joanne Ly, Active Minds Outreach Chair and undergraduate student at University of California San Diego; and Becky Fein, the California Statewide Program Manager for Active Minds, Inc.

Together, the presenters bring a breadth of knowledge and a diverse range of crucial perspectives that can help us better understand and address the impact of today’s national and campus climates on students’ mental health.

Attendance free. Registration required.

Register here




A statement by the Steve Fund regarding the recent hate crime at AU

Posted: May 6, 2017 12:21 pm
 

A statement by the Steve Fund regarding the recent hate crime at American University

American University recently was the site of a hate crime toward African American students. Bananas were found hanging by rope in the shape of nooses in at least three locations on campus. Written on them were the letters “AKA” which represent Alpha Kappa Alpha, a sorority with predominantly African American members. The event happened the same day that the university’s first black female student government president, Taylor Dumpson, took office. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

The Steve Fund strongly condemns all hate crimes. This particular incident is a strong reminder of the need for colleges and universities to do much more in support of the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. It speaks loudly to the need for universities to be more pro-active in the strategies and policies they use to contribute to the success of students of color.

The Steve Fund applauds American University for immediately calling this crime what it is: a hate crime. This initiated the involvement of the FBI along with campus police and the DC police much more rapidly. The incident shows that even a liberal and progressive institution like AU is not safe from such incidents. It is ironic that it took place during May, which is national mental health awareness month.

One cannot overestimate the amount of emotional stress such an incident exerts on students of color, even if they just read about it and even if it doesn’t happen on their own campus. Universities must implement focused strategies and dedicate sufficient resources in support of the emotional well-being of students of color. Research shows that differences in the ethnic background of students necessitate culturally specific approaches to supporting their mental health and emotional well-being. A Harris Poll conducted online in 2016 among 1,500 second-semester freshmen revealed that black students didn’t seek help as often as white students for their mental health concerns; white students were nearly twice as likely to report receiving a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Three-quarters of black students said they tend to keep their feelings about the difficulties of college to themselves.

With support from the Knight Foundation, the Steve Fund has partnered with the Crisis Text Line to provide a text messaging service to improve the critically needed access for young people of color to crisis counseling. Young persons of color who feel down, stressed or overwhelmed can text “STEVE” to 741741 and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will receive the text and respond to them quickly to provide support.

The Steve Fund and The Jed Foundation have also partnered to create the Equal Chance at Mental Health Framework with expert-consensus recommendations for America’s colleges and universities to better support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. This framework is based on: a systematic literature review; a survey of existing evidence-based programs; expert input from mental health and higher education leaders; and a survey of more than 1,000 students.

The Equal Chance at Mental Health Framework will be released in 2017. To sign up for updates about this Framework, please visit http://www.equalchanceatmentalhealth.org/

With people of color forming the majority of Americans by 2044 (and for children already by 2020), the future success of our nation will depend on the mental health and emotional well-being of all student populations, and on colleges and universities to provide support appropriately.

The hate crime at American University is another reminder of the urgency and importance of taking action. Students of color deserve an equal chance at emotional well-being and mental health.





Meet our latest Stephen S. Rose Legacy Scholar

Posted: March 8, 2017 8:49 pm
 
Khushbu Patel

Khushbu Patel

The Steve Fund is proud to announce the most recent winner of a Stephen C. Rose Legacy Scholarship: The winner of the 2017 Active Minds Stephen C. Rose Scholarship is Khushbu Patel, a second year Master’s student at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. A native of Philadelphia suburbs, she completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at Drexel University, while working in the Nezu Lab. She served as a Research Assistant on various projects, and as interim Project Manager for one year in a pilot RCT exploring the efficacy of Problem-Solving Therapy in hypertensive patients. Since then, she has worked as a Clinical Research Assistant with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Violence Prevention Initiative. In this role, she supported facilitation of an aggression-reduction program based in West and Southwest Philadelphia Public Schools. In her social work program, she is exploring many interests including U.S. urban public school systems, juvenile justice systems, and mental health research focusing on Asian American ethnic groups.

Khushbu received the Stephen C. Rose Legacy Scholarship for her project titled “Transgenerational Perceptions of Mental Health Among South Asians”. This project employs qualitative methodology to understand how culture influences the way South Asians conceptualize ‘mental health.’ There is a large body of literature on mental health stigma amongst South Asians, but little that looks at the cultural pathways that facilitate one’s understanding of mental health and well-being. Khushbu will focus on the college-aged South Asian population, where many are having their first wide-scale encounters with mental health resources, while statistically underutilizing them compared with peer groups – all while occupying a precarious position of increased suicidal risk.

Khushbu says she developed this project with short-term and long-term sets of goals, and through the fellowship she will tackle the former. For the short-term project framework, she aims to conduct semi-structured interviews with college-aged individuals and thematically analyze the qualitative data. The finished product would involve a brief “review of findings” paper and interactive presentation delivered on campus at the University of Chicago, particularly aimed at social workers. Ultimately she hopes to contribute to the body of work – in both academic literature and fiction writings – that explore South Asian mental health experiences.

The goal of The Stephen C. Rose Legacy Scholarships is to promote the emotional well-being and mental health of youth in ethnically diverse communities. By supporting competitive scholarships for research on the mental health challenges facing college students of color, the Fund is supporting the growth of a generation of scholars with knowledge and capacity to address the mental health needs of our target population. Find out more about the Fund’s scholarships here.





News article: Students of color at disproportionate risk for suicide

Posted: February 23, 2017 5:30 pm
 

In a news article, the Columbia Spectator reports on findings that students of color and international students are at a disproportionate risk for suicide. The article quotes Steve Fund Senior Media Advisor Dr. Annelle Primm, writing:

In particular, experts pointed to the additional stigma surrounding mental health for students of color. These students are 1.7 times less likely to see a mental health professional, according to Steve Fund Senior Medical Adviser Dr. Annelle Primm. Primm highlighted the notion of “impostor syndrome,” which involves feeling that seeking support undermines one’s success and self-worth. This syndrome is disproportionately common among students of color.

Read the full article here





Conference discusses draft of groundbreaking recommendations framework

Posted: February 15, 2017 7:52 pm
 
Evan Rose, president of the board of The Steve Fund, at the opening of the convening

Evan Rose, president of the board of The Steve Fund, at the opening of the convening

110 senior higher education leaders gathered on Monday, February 13, 2017 at Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York City to provide feedback on a draft version of a groundbreaking recommendations framework intended to help improve the support for the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color at America’s colleges and universities.

The invitation-only event was organized by the Steve Fund and the Jed Foundation, with generous underwriting support from the Morgan Stanley Foundation.
Jeffrey Brodsky, Chief Human Resources Officer, Morgan Stanley, welcomes attendees

Jeffrey Brodsky, Chief Human Resources Officer, Morgan Stanley, welcomes attendees

The Steve Fund and The Jed Foundation have partnered to create the Equal Chance at Mental Health Framework with evidence-informed expert recommendations for America’s colleges and universities to better support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. Too many students of color are failing academically, suffering emotionally and in some cases are facing serious risk, including death, because population-specific factors influencing their mental health are poorly understood. The Equal Chance at Mental Health Framework will be based on a systematic literature review, on a survey of existing evidence-based programs, on expert input from mental health and higher education leaders  and on a survey of more than 1,000 students.

The attendees got an early preview of the ten recommendations that will be at the core of the mental health framework that the Steve Fund and Jed plan to roll out later this year.
John MacPhee, CEO of the JED Foundation, welcomes attendees.

John MacPhee, CEO of the JED Foundation, welcome attendees.

Steve Fund senior medical advisor Dr. Annelle Primm set the stage with a presentation that made the case for the need to improve support for mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. She was followed by a presentation of the draft recommendations by the senior medical advisors to the Steve Fund and JED, Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble and Dr. Victor Schwartz. A panel of four university presidents then provided their perspective and thoughts. The panel was moderated by Dr. Carlota Ocampo, Provost for Trinity Washington University. The panelists were:

Dr. John DeGioia, President of Georgetown University; Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College; Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., President of Morehouse College; Dr. Robert L. Caret, Chancellor ofd the University System of Maryland; Dr. Carlota Ocampo, Provost for Trinity Washington University

Dr. John DeGioia, President of Georgetown University; Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College; Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., President of Morehouse College; Dr. Robert L. Caret, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland; Dr. Carlota Ocampo, Provost of Trinity Washington University

  • Dr. John DeGioia, President of Georgetown University
  • Dr. Robert L. Caret, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland
  • Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., President of Morehouse College
  • Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College
A facilitated discussion for conference attendees followed the panel to provide additional expert input on the framework and to share practical tips on implementing the recommendations on campuses. The discussions produced a number of ideas and important observations which the Steve Fund and Jed will incorporate into the final framework. Comments from the participants also highlighted the need for, importance of and excitement about the prospect of a clear and actionable recommendations framework that colleges and universities can implement to move the needle on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.
If you would like to be notified when the framework will be released, please sign up for updates below.




Supporting the Black Solidarity Conference

Posted: February 12, 2017 9:50 pm
 

February is Black History Month. The Steve Fund is proud to be a Silver Sponsor at this year’s Black Solidarity Conference at Yale University. It is our third year of supporting this important convening.

We are now accepting applications for ideas for your campus! Please visit www.stevefund.org/ideas/ for the chance to bring an innovative program to your school.

Finally, in April, we will be accepting new applications for the Youth Advisory Board. Sign up for updates at http://www.stevefund.org/updates

The Black Solidarity Conference is a completely student-run annual conference.  BSC is the largest undergraduate conference held at Yale University and it continues to grow each year. BSC invites over 700 undergraduates of of various races, religions, ethnicities, and communities to discuss issues pertaining to the African Diaspora. Through discussions, panels, networking, and social gatherings, students from across the country analyze issues affecting the Black/Afro-Diasporic community and explore solutions that can be implemented on campus.





A Reflection on 2016

Posted: December 23, 2016 1:42 am
 

Dear friend,

“Your mission is becoming more urgent and important.” This is something we heard often in the beginning of 2016. At that time, every day, the media were full of reports about increasing tensions and protests, on campuses around the nation. Experts were beginning to warn about the mental health toll on young people of color who are exposed to this drumbeat of unsettling news.

“Your mission has just become so much more urgent and important,” we kept hearing again eleven months later, on November 11, 2016. We were at “Young, Gifted & @Risk”, the Steve Fund’s third annual national conference focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color taking place at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The elections were over. And the media were full of reports about acts targeting communities of color, by individuals and groups who felt emboldened to say and do what seemed unacceptable in 21st-Century America until not too long ago.

Back in 2015, we didn’t create the Steve Fund because of developments on campus. We did not create it because of a general increase in ethnic tensions. But both these developments happened to intensify in 2016, our first year of “full operations”, if you will. We began the Steve Fund with a sense of urgency born of personal experience. But it is probably fair to say that these recent development have increased the urgency, for the people we serve, for our supporters, and for the Steve Fund.

If you are taking the time to read this, you are probably interested in and care about the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. For this we thank you. If you have supported the Steve Fund’s work, whether financially or in other ways, we thank you. We thank you for everything you do to support this cause, whether through the Steve Fund, or through other channels available to you. It is important. And it is urgent. Thank you, so much!

The issue of students of color and their mental health and emotional well-being has been surging in the national discourse over the last year. Whether it is an edition of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Atlantic or The New Yorker, there is a good chance you will find an article containing terms such as “microaggression”, “impostor syndrome”, “safe space” or “trigger warning.” This simply was not the case just a short while ago.

While this increased media attention generally is a positive thing, not all of it is positive. For instance, some universities have intentionally disavowed the thinking behind “safe spaces,” suggesting it is in conflict with a commitment to rigorous debate. At the Steve Fund, we believe this is a false equivalency. Some op-ed pieces in national publications poke fun at these serious issues. And just take a look at the often vitriolic reader comments that accompany the articles, and you get a sense of how much work there is to do.

Here are some highlights of the work the Steve Fund accomplished this year (the links in the parentheses offer more information about each item):

  • The JED Foundation and the Steve Fund are collaborating on a framework of evidence-informed recommended practices for improving support for the mental health of students of color on college and university campuses. The project includes a Nielsen study with 1,000 college and university students. The results will be rolled out nationally in early 2017. (mentalhealthframework.org)
  • A partnership with Crisis Text Line, an online crisis support service, and with the Knight Foundation now enables students of color to text the keyword “Steve” to 741741 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor. The Steve Fund also worked with Crisis Text Line to refine its training curriculum for counselors with regard to supporting the mental health of students of color. (http://bit.ly/2hW5EEP)
  • Three notable U.S. mental health associations have administered six Steve Fund scholarships to young scholars to research psychological challenges confronting their respective populations. (http://bit.ly/2hWfZRl)
  • Members of the newly formed Steve Fund Youth Advisory Board advise the fund and promote the importance of education about mental health and emotional well-being on college and university campuses and within their respective communities. (http://bit.ly/2hIXfSa)
  • The first-of-its-kind, online Knowledge Center with expert information related to the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color is now available free of charge at www.stevefund.org/knowledgecenter.
  • In partnership with the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, the Steve Fund brought together more than 250 leaders in mental health and higher education for the third annual Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference on November 11. More than ten hours of expert knowledge coming out of the conference will be added to the Steve Fund Knowledge Center. (http://bit.ly/2eZMZq4)
  • A three-part Webinar series specifically aimed at families of students of color, discusses topics ranging from the unique pressures and challenges faced by students of color, to potential strategies for positive change. (http://bit.ly/2gP9RFf)
  • We worked with partners such as Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), the NAACP, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow as part of the Steve Fund’s efforts to bring mental health programming to organizations serving people of color. (http://bit.ly/2hfqtaa)
  • The social micro blogging platform Tumblr (550 million monthly users) chose the Steve Fund as one of three charitable partner organizations for its Mental Health Quilt project. The quilt is a collaboration between Tumblr and the City of New York. (http://bit.ly/2hfnI8W)
  • Articles in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, Inside Higher Ed, Slate Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, and Onyx reported on the Steve Fund’s work. (http://stevefund.org/news)

We are excited about the promises of 2017. We expect to recruit our first executive director in early 2017, taking the fund’s work to the next level of impact (http://bit.ly/2hNHcSM). We are also excited about the above-mentioned framework of recommendations we are developing together with the Jed Foundation. This “Equal Chance at Mental Health Framework” will be highly actionable, with ten concise expert recommendations at its core that colleges and universities can implement to improve the support for the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color on their campuses. We are convening a special higher education summit on February 13 in New York, to obtain input and advice on the draft framework from leaders at U.S. colleges and universities. We are targeting the beginning of April to roll out the finalized framework with an extensive media campaign. We expect a high level of interest by the media and by our targeted audiences, especially by leaders of colleges and universities. Most importantly, we expect for this framework to have a real impact on what colleges and universities do to better support the mental health and emotional well-being of their students of color.

Once more, thank you for your interest and for your support. Please visit stevefund.org/updates to subscribe to the Steve Fund’s newsletter (it comes to your inbox once every three months). And, of course, there is always stevefund.org/donate

Last but not least, I’d like to once more say “741741”. This is the above-mentioned number to which students of color can text the keyword STEVE to connect with a crisis counselor. If we learn this number by heart, it gives all of us an easy and concrete way to offer assistance to a young person of color who might need help, simply by suggesting she or he text “STEVE” to 741741.

With warmest wishes for you and your loved ones,

Your friends at the Steve Fund





Article: Mary Christie Foundation features Steve Fund’s work

Posted: December 16, 2016 6:33 pm
 

The Mary Christie Foundation is running an in-depth feature on the Steve Fund’s work in the 4th Quarter 2016 edition of Mary Christie Quarterly.  The article describes the young organization’s journey from its beginning to becoming America’s only non-profit focused on the well-being of students of color.

Read the article

The Mary Christie Foundation is a thought leadership and philanthropic organization dedicated to the health and wellness of teens and young adults.





Coming early 2017: The Equal Chance at Mental Health Framework

Posted: December 6, 2016 4:38 pm
 

Coming in early 2017: The Equal Chance at Mental Health Framework

The Steve Fund and The Jed Foundation have partnered to create the Equal Chance at Mental Health  Framework with evidence-based expert recommendations for America’s colleges and universities to better support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. Too many students of color are failing academically, suffering emotionally and in some cases are facing serious risk, including death, because population-specific factors influencing their mental health are poorly understood. The Equal Chance at Mental Health  Framework will be based on a systematic literature review, on a survey of existing evidence-based programs, on expert input from mental health and higher education leaders  and on a survey of more than 1,000 students.

TheEqual Chance at Mental Health  Framework will be released early 2017. To sign up for updates, please fill out the form below. Thank you for your interest.

jed-foundation-logo





Webinar: Home for the holidays – Supporting your student

Posted: November 14, 2016 8:41 pm
 

Webinar Part 3: Home for the holidays – Supporting your student through transitions

New Webinar Series on Student-Of-Color Mental Health

The Steve Fund will host a three-installment webinar series for parents and families addressing the mental health of college students of color.

The webinar series will focus on aspects of mental health and well-being for the student, discussing topics ranging from the unique pressures and challenges faced by students of color, to potential strategies for positive change. The presenter is Dr. Meeta Kumar, Director of Outreach and Prevention Services at the Counseling and Psychological Services as well as adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. She will discuss challenges faced by students of color during college and emerging adulthood and ways in which parents and family members can help their child thrive within this environment. We hope that this conversation will prompt dialogue and build knowledge around this issue among families, college leaders and service providers, and promote innovative solutions for this population.

The webinars will be of interest to parents and family members, college and university leaders, faculty, researchers, student services staff, college counseling professionals, and students and peers. They are ideal for families who seek to support the success and emotional well-being of students of color. They are also valuable to all mental health and student services professionals who would like to learn more on the subject from outstanding thought leaders in this area. Please join us as we discuss challenges faced by this group of students, opportunities for families to serve as impactful advocates and supporters of their students’ mental health, and institutional approaches for supporting program improvement.

Following the live webinars, access to view the recorded content will be available at the Steve Fund’s Knowledge Center on www.stevefund.org.

3rd Webinar: Thursday, December 1, 2016 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM EDT 

Home for the holidays: Supporting your student through transitions

Your college student will be home soon. Though holidays are eagerly awaited, they can often be stressful for both college students and their families. Learn about some common challenges that families face during the holidays and develop strategies for a positive experience. Holidays also offer opportunities to take stock of how your student is doing and how the semester worked out for them. This is also a time to support them in addressing academic, social or personal concerns. The webinar will provide information about university policies like leaves of absence and accommodations so families can work with their students to help them make good life decisions.

RSVP NOW

Presenter: Dr. Meeta Kumar, Director of Outreach and Prevention Services at the Counseling and Psychological Services as well as adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Meeta Kumar

Dr. Meeta Kumar

Dr. Meeta Kumar is a psychologist and an experienced professional in the field of college mental health. She currently serves as the Director of Outreach and Prevention Services at the Counseling and Psychological Services as well as adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. She is responsible for coordination, development and delivery of university wide programs that support mental health and wellness of students. She works closely with all campus constituencies including faculty/staff, student groups and parents/families. She is a national presenter on an array of college mental health topics. She is adjunct faculty in the Asian American Studies department. She received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.





Steve Fund welcomes two new Youth Advisory Board members

Posted: October 24, 2016 10:09 pm
 
Jonea Ahouissoussi and Seher Raza

Jonea Ahouissoussi and Seher Raza

The Steve Fund warmly welcomes two new members of its Youth Advisory Board, Seher Raza (University of Virginia, 2017) and Jonea Ahouissoussi (University of Virginia, 2017).

Seher Raza is a senior at the University of Virginia, majoring in Psychology. She is currently in the Distinguished Majors Program, developing her own research study in the Social Psychology Wilson Lab to learn more about mental thought processes. Seher became passionate about mental health at a very young age after coming face-to-face with a variety of mental health illnesses that run in her family.

Ultimately, Seher hopes to work in a counseling-related career to continue providing support to individuals in the domain of mental health.  She is passionate about how mental health relates to people of color and defeating negative stereotypes that are associated with mental health such as the ones she has witnessed in her own South Asian, Pakistani, household. Using her personal experiences as a drive, Seher is excited to provide a lasting impact through working with the Youth Advisory Fund.

Jonea Ahouissoussi is a senior at the University of Virginia, majoring in Women Gender and Sexuality and minoring in Sociology. She has grown up in Benin, located in West Africa and is deeply interested in how mental health issues relate to the African communities. She has seen how issues surrounding mental health are often a taboo topic in African communities. She hopes to learn more about how mental health issues relate to people of color and especially within the African community.

This year Jonea became the Co-Student Director of Project Rise, an initiative focused on helping African-American students with social, personal, and academic issues, ultimately aiming to improve mental health. Jonea is also the founder of Success at SEA, an intervention created under Project Rise, focused on providing students with social, emotional, and academic support during their transition from college to post-graduation.

More about the Youth Advisory Board




Steve Fund Team Chosen by Tumblr in Quilt Project to Support Student of Color Mental Health

Posted: October 17, 2016 7:17 pm
 

Steve Fund works with Tumblr in Mental Health Quilt Project

Tumblr has chosen the Steve Fund as one of three charitable partner organizations for its Mental Health Quilt project. The quilt is a collaboration between Tumblr and the City of New York. Each patch of this quilt is a creative expression of someone’s relationship with mental illness–their own, or someone they love. Tumblr is building this quilt, both digitally and physically, to reduce the stigma surrounding mental and emotional health and to show the community that they are not alone in what they are experiencing.

Stephen "Steve" C. Rose

The Steve Fund is named to honor the legacy of Stephen C. Rose.

Tumblr users can create and submit original artistic swatches and panels to PostItForward.tumblr.com/QuiltSubmissions to be included in a quilt installation that will be on display in New York City and online at PostItForward.tumblr.com/MentalHealthQuilt.

Tumbr provides templates and detailed instructions to make the submission process easy.

Each patch represents a creative expression around changing the conversation around mental health and an individual’s relationship with mental illness, whether battling it themselves or helping others with their struggles.

For every patch a user submits, Tumblr will donate $1 to one of three different charities who support mental health, up to a total aggregate donation of $20,000. The user submitting the patch will be given an option of choosing which charity – National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), The Trevor Project or The Steve Fund – their original panel will benefit.

The Steve Fund is thrilled to be Tumblr’s partner in this project.

If you participate in Tumblr’s Mental Health Quilt project, please choose the Steve Fund as your charity. Thank you!

What you can do:

About the Steve Fund

The Steve Fund is the nation’s only non-profit organization focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. It works with colleges and universities, students, non-profits, researchers, practitioners, and with groups serving diverse populations. It aims to stimulate dialogue and to promote effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance regarding the mental health and emotional well-being of the nation’s students of color as they enter, matriculate in, and transition from higher education.

News release by Tumblr





Steve Fund Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Annelle Primm Receives Award

Posted: October 17, 2016 2:33 pm
 
Steve Fund Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Annelle Primm

Steve Fund Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Annelle Primm

Steve Fund Senior Medical Advisor Annelle Primm, M.D., MPH, has received the prestigious Alexandra Symonds Award For Outstanding Women Psychiatrists. The Award is given out by the American Psychiatric Association. It was established in 1997 in memory of Alexandra Symonds, MD, an APA Fellow and co-founder of the Association of Women Psychiatrists. The award recognizes and honors a woman psychiatrist who has made significant contributions to promoting women’s health and the advancement of women.

At the recent awards ceremony, the current President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Dr. Maria Oquendo, presented Dr. Primm with the award. During the same program, New York’s First Lady, Chirlane McCray, was also given an award for her mental health advocacy.

In her award lecture titled “Toward an Equal Chance for Mental Health in a Diverse College World”, Dr. Primm highlighted the work of the Steve Fund. A short abstract of Dr. Primm’s award lecture is included below.

Annelle B. Primm, M. D., MPH, is currently serving as Senior Medical Adviser to the Steve Fund, Senior Psychiatrist Adviser to Urban Behavioral Associates, and several other organizations. During her career, Dr. Primm has been a physician executive at the American Psychiatric Association; a medical educator, administrator and clinician at Johns Hopkins Hospital Community Psychiatry Program; an editor of the books, Disparities in Psychiatric Care and Women in Psychiatry: Personal Perspectives; and a lecturer and video producer on the mental health of diverse and underserved populations. Well known for her leadership of community collaborations, Dr. Primm is the Convener and Chair of the All Healers Mental Health Alliance, a national network of mental health professionals, health advocates and faith community leaders that facilitates culturally tailored responses to the mental health needs of people affected by disasters.

Short Abstract of Award Lecture

Annelle B. Primm, M.D., MPH
Alexandra Symonds Award Lecture
IPS 2016
Toward an Equal Chance at Mental Health in a Diverse College World

This presentation will highlight the work of the Steve Fund, a new non-profit with a focus on the mental health and well-being of college students of color. The lecturer serves as a senior medical adviser for this organization.

The need for the Steve Fund is clear. The time between adolescence and early adulthood is a period of development fraught with stressful challenges. This period is also one in which common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety have their initial onset. The experiences of college students of color in this age range who attend schools in which they are in the minority are compounded by additional risks associated with negative stereotypes, isolation, alienation, marginalization and an environment with values often at odds with their cultures of origin. These conditions set the stage for and increase the likelihood of young people of color experiencing diminished mental health and well-being and sub-optimal academic performance. A recent national survey has documented that students of color are more likely than their white counterparts to experience stress and feelings of being overwhelmed in college.

Challenges facing university students of color are occurring in a societal context of heightened racial tension and student activism. Universities around the country have experienced student protests calling for greater attention to diversity on campus and the allocation of resources and implementation of services that support the mental health of young people who are marginalized in the university environment due to their racial, ethnic or cultural identity. Intersectionality involving racial and ethnic identity along with gender, religion, sexual orientation and other characteristics add to the complexity of biases affecting students in the college environment. This presentation will take a closer look at the experiences of women students of color.

Through its conferences, resources and partnerships, the Steve Fund has begun to elucidate the unique risks and challenges of college students of color and offer information on protective factors, services and resources that can be implemented to buffer, mitigate or eliminate risks to well-being and academic success that will, in turn, create for students of color an equal chance at mental health.





News release: Steve Fund and Crisis Text Line receive grant

Posted: October 11, 2016 11:22 am
 

Crisis Text Line and Steve Fund to expand information on mental health, provide support to young people of color with $863,000 from Knight Foundation

New customized texting platform aims to meet the needs of young people of color and better inform communities

New York  – Oct. 11, 2016 –  Crisis Text Line and the Steve Fund today announced the expansion of a joint effort to support young people of color who suffer from mental health issues with $863,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The investment will help strengthen Crisis Text Line text-messaging support services in communities of color, while increasing data collection and research on the needs of this population.

In early 2016, Crisis Text Line, a free, 24/7 text-based support line for people in crisis, and the Steve Fund, a nonprofit focused on the mental health of students of color, launched a Knight-backed collaboration to better support young people of color in crisis. New funding will help strengthen this partnership, so the organizations can work to increase the number of racially diverse (African American and Latino) teens who use Crisis Text Line through targeted outreach and by customized services.

They will also collaborate to expand the number of Crisis Counselors of color on the platform. By tracking and analyzing large collections of data in this area, the effort will inform journalists, leaders and researchers on the mental health issues of young people of color. The effort aims to create the largest youth mental health data collection on this population ever amassed via text message.

“Crisis Text Line has partnered with over 60 cities, states, universities, and issue-specific organizations,” says Cornelius Bethea at Crisis Text Line. “This collaboration will drive more young people of color to the platform and as a result, accumulate more data that can be used to improve services for these populations.”

“Our collaboration with Crisis Text Line not only offers a way of supporting the mental health of young people of color,” said Evan Rose, president of the Steve Fund. “It’s also an opportunity to build a line of research related to the mental health and emotional well­being of young people of color, based on evidence and data.”

“With technology and data at it’s core, this partnership will help explore solutions to a pressing problem, while helping to inform communities and foster more research, journalism, and public attention on mental health trends among diverse youth,” said John Bracken Knight Foundation vice president for technology and innovation.

Crisis Text Line launched in August 2013 and has already processed more than 23 million crisis messages leveraging over 1,800 trained volunteer Crisis Counselors. New funding to Crisis Text Line adds to Knight’s previous investments of more than $4 million to support the expansion of the platform. The text line provides support for individuals struggling with issues like  suicide, depression, self-harm, LGBTQ issues, and beyond.

The Steve Fund was launched in 2014. The organization promotes dialogue and effective programs and strategies to support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.

The two organizations began their collaboration in early 2016, with a joint effort to reach out to more texters of color experiencing mental stress. Texting STEVE to 741741 will connect texters with a live, trained crisis counselor.

With Knight funding, the Steve Fund will further provide access to its community of experts and other affiliates to help Crisis Text Line examine the types of issues most often reported by young people of color and other questions. They will recommend interventions and improvements to  tailor messages for these groups.  The Steve Fund’s Senior Scientific Advisor Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University, will lead the analysis of the Crisis Text Line data.

The Steve Fund will also promote awareness of Crisis Text Line to young people of color through a campus engagement program, partnerships with diverse nonprofits, and outreach via social media and public relations campaigns. A portion of the funding will also go to strengthening the organization’s capacity and reach.

Crisis Text Line has collaborated on similar efforts with other partners in the past. Examples include research projects on child abuse, LGTBQ communities, and the behaviors of suicidal texters in digitally­ mediated counseling conversation.

About Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for people in crisis via text. For more, visit www.crisistextline.org

About the Steve Fund

The Steve Fund is the nation’s only non-profit organization focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. For more, visit www.stevefund.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.





Blog post: Crisis Text Line and the Steve Fund partner up

Posted: October 11, 2016 11:20 am
 

Crisis Text Line and the Steve Fund partner to help young people of color

By Melinda Blaise

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 young people ages 13 to 18 have or will have a mental illness at some point. But people of color are less likely to seek help.  African-Americans and Hispanics use mental health services at about half the rate of whites and Asian-Americans at about a third the rate, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2010. There  is a major disparity here.

News broke last week about rapper and actor Kid Cudi checking himself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. In a message on his Facebook page he says, “loneliness is a terrible thing. And if you don’t know how to conquer it. It can eat you alive.”
cudi-facebook

Kid Cudi’s story shines a light on the largely hidden but urgent issue of mental illness of young people of color. More often than not, young people of color do not seek care for mental illness or they wait until they are in crisis to do so. This is often due to insufficient access to care, stigma surrounding mental health or lack of support. The Center for Disease Control says that “more than 1 out of 20 Americans 12 years and older has reported suffering from depression. Crisis Text Line and the Steve Fund recognize a need to support these groups of individuals by partnering together to serve young people of color by bringing the strongest aspects of our skill sets together.

With people of color forming the majority of all Americans by 2044 (and of children by 2020), the future success of our nation will depend on the mental health and emotional well-being of all student populations, and on colleges and universities providing appropriate support.

The Steve Fund is the nation’s only organization focused on the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. Crisis Text Line is the nation’s only free, nationwide, 24/7 text line for people in crisis. Together, it’s a perfect match.

The Steve Fund and Crisis Text Line bring complementary services and expertise to help the mental and emotional well-being of young people of color. While Crisis Text Line supplies the free, 24/7 crisis support, the Steve Fund brings research on young people of color, strategic partnerships with colleges and universities, nonprofits, to increase the number of people reached, access to mental health experts and programming expertise to support the content and platform, and a whole suite of knowledge products to inform the sector.

Over the next year, with the support of Knight Foundation, we will be working to improve how we engage this community to create a space for young people of color to seek out mental health support as well as to volunteer to support these groups.

Please visit Crisis Text Line at crisistextline.org/volunteer/ to volunteer or text us at 741741 if you are or anyone you know is in crisis. Young people of color in crisis can text STEVE to 741741 to be connect with a live, trained Crisis Counselor.





3rd Annual Young, Gifted & @Risk Conference

Posted: October 5, 2016 9:30 pm
 

ygar-squareIn partnership with Washington University’s Brown School, the Steve Fund convened its third annual “Young, Gifted & @Risk” symposium in 2016. The conference brought together university scholars, administrators, practitioners, students and community members to build knowledge, promote dialogue, and advance practice in addressing the mental and emotional health needs of young people of color.

Download the conference description and agenda

November 11, 2016
The Brown School
Washington University in St. Louis

The 2016 Midwest “Young, Gifted & @Risk” symposium provided an important platform for presenters, panelists, and participants to discuss the latest research and national trends, highlight best practices, and identify next steps for improving the mental health and well-being of young people of color.

The George Warren Brown School of Social Work  partnered with the Steve Fund to bring the conference to the Midwest region. The Steve Fund is the nation’s only non-profit organization on focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. The Brown School creates positive social change through its path-breaking research and educational excellence.

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

7:30 – 8:00 am

Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 am

Welcome and Symposium Overview

9:00 – 10:30 am

Panel 1: Marginality and Success: The University Experience and the Mental Health of Students and Emerging Adults of Color

10:30 – 10:45 am

Break

10:45 – 12:15 pm

Panel 2:  How Culture, Mindset, and Identity Shape and Affect Mental Health among Young Adults

12:15 – 2:15 pm

Lunch and Concurrent Sessions

Session A: Students/Lived Experience

Session B: Family

Session C: Graduate Students/Teaching Assistants/ Faculty

Session D: Veterans

Session E: Administration/Counseling Staff

2:15 – 2:30 pm

Break

2:30 – 3:30 pm

Lunch breakout groups report out

3:30 – 4:30 pm

Panel 3: Promising Strategies for Mental Health on Campus and Beyond for Young People of Color

4:30 – 5:00 pm

Next Steps and Closing Remarks





Our Best Wishes and Respect to Kid Cudi

Posted: October 5, 2016 9:22 pm
 

The Steve Fund salutes rapper and actor Kid Cudi on his courage of talking publicly on Facebook about his depression and about his seeking mental health support. Too many young people of color are not seeking support when confronting  mental health challenges, because of a sense of stigma and shame. Kid Cudi’s  example will inspire them to seek support when they might have not. His courage will  save lives.

The Steve Fund collaborates with Crisis Text Line to provide a text messaging service as a means to improve the critically needed access for young people of color to crisis counseling. Are you a young person of color? Feeling down, stressed or overwhelmed? Text STEVE to 741741 and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will receive the text and respond to you quickly to provide support.

We thank Kid Cudi for drawing attention to mental health. The Steve Fund sends him our best wishes, and respect.





Oct 2-10 is Mental Health Awareness Week

Posted: October 4, 2016 8:39 pm
 

October 2-10 is National Mental Health Awareness Week. The Steve Fund is the nation’s only organization focused on the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. Right at this moment, there are students of color who are failing academically, suffering emotionally and/OR in some cases are facing serious risk, because population-specific factors influencing mental health are too poorly understood and not acted upon.

But we are taking action. The Steve Fund recently has:

To keep up to date and/or learn more about the Steve Fund’s activities, please sign up for our email updates here.





Article: Campus News reports on the Steve Fund (Sept. 23, 2016)

Posted: September 24, 2016 10:34 pm
 

Campus News, a publication covering 37 campuses in the New York Metro area, Upstate New York, Lower New England and New Jersey, reports on the Steve Fund’s activities. The article from September 23, 2016, states: “In a society riddled with conflict inspired by racial consciousness, resources pertaining to mental health and emotional support of students of color often seem out of reach.” Writer Claudia Lamberty puts particular emphasis on the Steve Fund’s Knowledge Center, stating:  “The Knowledge Center, the Steve Fund’s online research center, provides scholarly content to all visitors. Interviews with professors and mental health professionals, lectures, academic research and scholarly articles are available to educate all on issues of mental health.” The article also extensively quotes Steve Fund scientific advisor Dr. Annelle Primm. When considering facets of mental health, Dr. Primm states, “Ethnicity matters, culture matters, gender matters and age matters.”

Read the complete article here.





It is National Suicide Prevention Week

Posted: September 5, 2016 1:48 pm
 

National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th. The Steve Fund is the nation’s only organization focused on the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. Right at this moment, there are students of color who are failing academically, suffering emotionally and/OR in some cases are facing serious risk, because population-specific factors influencing mental health are too poorly understood and not acted upon.

But we are taking action. The Steve Fund recently has:

To keep up to date and/or learn more about the Steve Fund’s activities, please sign up for our email updates here.