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
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.