This  blog page offers you a convenient way to “quick-scroll” through recent Steve Fund updates.

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 for the chance to bring an innovative program to your school. We are also excited to announce our Essay Contest for participants of the Black Solidarity Conference. Please visit to enter!

Finally, in April, we will be accepting new applications for the Youth Advisory Board. Sign up for updates at

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. (
  • 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. (
  • Three notable U.S. mental health associations have administered six Steve Fund scholarships to young scholars to research psychological challenges confronting their respective populations. (
  • 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. (
  • 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
  • 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. (
  • 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. (
  • 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. (
  • 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. (
  • 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. (

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 ( 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 to subscribe to the Steve Fund’s newsletter (it comes to your inbox once every three months). And, of course, there is always

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.


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

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.


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.

The Steve Fund is Seeking its First Executive Director

Posted: November 7, 2016 8:32 pm

The Steve Fund is Seeking its First Executive Director

The nation’s only organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of college students of color is seeking its first Executive Director.

“The unique mental health needs of students of color are poorly understood, and severely underserved.” The Steve Fund’s mission is to increase the awareness of and develop effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental health and emotional well-being of the nation’s students of color as they enter, matriculate in and transition from higher education. Working in collaboration with colleges and universities, best in class nonprofits, researchers, practitioners, and groups serving diverse populations – the strategic pillars driving the organization are:

  • Building knowledge and thought leadership
  • Creating programs and strategic partnerships
  • Promoting awareness and dialogue
  • Producing immediate impact for students through tech innovations

Candidate Profile & Key Attributes

Passionate Leader, Bridge Builder, Executive Presence, Integrative Thinker, High Integrity, Collaboration Mastery, Technology Savvy

Seeking a charismatic, seasoned leader with a deep commitment to promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color, along with an understanding of the population- specific/unique challenges that students of color face in receiving support for their mental health and emotional well-being. The Executive Director will effectively articulate The Steve Fund’s vision, mission and values that stimulate investment by funders and engagement of practitioners to increase national awareness and promote/facilitate effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance. Additionally, The Executive Director will work in close partnership with best-in-class mental health organizations, youth-serving non-profits, and institutions of higher education engaging leaders from across sectors, college students and mental health colleagues. He/She has a notable reputation and commands respect that activates public awareness and support for addressing the mental health needs of young people of color. The Executive Director will be a person who thrives in a start-up environment.

Passionate Leader
Proven legacy of inspirational leadership and innovation with experience building an organization and advancing its impact, profile and reputation. Deep expertise nurturing productive professional relationships and managing high performing teams (both in-person and virtually).

Bridge Builder
An individual adept at cultivating and building effective partnerships with organizations and institutions across the country; able to balance and integrate diverse interests and values of stakeholders; experienced in developing a national portfolio of partners with effective coordination of experts across the mental and public health arena. He/She will possess the political and social capital that can be leveraged to advance the Steve Fund’s mission.

Executive Presence
The Executive Director will have strong interpersonal skills and experience developing and executing ambitious national strategies; is capable of launching and managing large-scale initiatives with stakeholders and partners across institutions and sectors; and has a successful track record of fundraising for organizations with national reach and of building an organization’s identity and enhancing its profile and reputation.

Integrative Thinker
Ability to constructively balance tensions between opposing variables; navigates ambiguity with proficiency; demonstrates problem solving prowess; and generates creative/collaborative solutions and opportunities.

High Integrity
The ideal candidate possesses empathy, compassion and uncompromising integrity; has the courage and conviction to make difficult decisions; and is authentic, self-aware, and collegial.

Collaboration Mastery
The Steve Fund highlights and draws deeply upon the knowledge, experience and perspectives of outstanding leaders in the mental health disciplines. The successful candidate must be able to work extremely effectively with such colleagues.

Technology Savvy
The ability to leverage tech innovations effectively to serve the needs of the Steve Fund’s target population will be essential. The Executive Director should have the knowledge, relationships and experience to integrate tech partnerships and innovations into the core of the Steve Fund’s work.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

  • Passion for and experience in fields related to mental health, public health, youth development, and social progress, especially involving young people and populations of color, or at organizations and institutions whose work reflects an awareness of the mental health and youth development needs among young people of color
  • Excellent written and oral communicator
  • Strong history in developing, leading and measuring high impact programs
  • Proficiency working with governing boards
  • Strong financial acumen and experience managing the operational and legal dimensions of a
    nonprofit organization
  • Keen attention to detail with a track record of driving efficiency and effective management of
  • Rainmaker/Fundraiser driven to meet/exceed development benchmarks and raise the funds for general operating, programmatic and stretch financial goals
  • Essential relationship-building, collaborative, and people management skills
  • Generalist with breadth and depth of experience across a range of functions/business areas
  • Ability to develop and deliver presentations to diverse audiences
  • Advanced degree from a reputable research university, ideally with relevance to public health,
    nonprofit management, public administration, and/or mental health fields
  • Demonstrated capability to work with and on behalf of young people
  • Strong grasp of technology
  • Willingness to travel (up to 30% of the time)
  • Available to start immediately

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to:

Deadline for applying: November 25, 2016.

Candidates will be evaluated on a rolling basis and early applications are strongly encouraged.

Download as pdf

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 to be included in a quilt installation that will be on display in New York City and online at

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

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

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

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.”

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 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

UPDATE: Videos from  the conference will be added by the end of January 2017.

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.



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


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


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.