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Article: Dr. Annelle Primm Authors NAMI Blog for Minority Mental Health Month

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College Students Of Color: Overcoming Mental Health Challenges

By Annelle B. Primm, M.D., MPH  Jul. 16, 2018

July is Minority Mental Health Month which provides an ideal opportunity to talk about the mental health of young people of color. Our country is becoming more and more diverse—the proportion of children of color are projected to become the majority by 2020 and people of color are expected to make up the majority of the U.S. population by 2045. It’s crucial that we pay attention to the mental health of young people of color as they become the future of our nation.

Mental illness affects young people of color at similar rates as white young adults. However, they are less likely to be diagnosed or seek mental health services. This is largely due to stigma and a cultural mistrust of mental health professionals who lack cultural competence.

Not seeking needed mental health care is problematic for this (and any) population—but especially for college-aged people of color. Because 75% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 24, college is a time during which many mental illnesses first appear. Coping with an untreated mental illness can affect a student’s social experience and academic performance. And for students of color, there’s often more under the surface working against them.

How Discrimination Affects Mental Health 

The social determinants of mental health include factors such as where people are born, live and work as well as their age. They also include things such as discrimination and exclusion, socioeconomic status and access to health care.

Some colleges and universities have recently become settings of discrimination, racial profiling and xenophobia. Universities that create these feelings of marginalization and isolation can be harmful to mental health, and for students of color who have a pre-existing mental illness, such acts of alienation can actually worsen their condition.

Many of us grew up hearing the adage: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me.” Dr. Altha Stewart, who, in May 2018, became the first African-American President of the American Psychiatric Association, stated recently that “this old saying is incorrect and the truth is that  negative words, can be damaging to mental health, especially for young people.”

Racially hateful expressions broadcasted on social media or communicated face-to-face are harmful to the mental health and well-being of college students of color. This is especially true when cyber-based comments are anonymous. Not knowing if comments are coming from a classmate or someone living next door in the dorm can be frightening and anxiety-provoking.

Colleges and universities should create environments in which young people of color are valued. This can be done by recruiting and retaining a diverse staff and faculty; establishing zero-tolerance policies to racist actions; and developing and maintaining cultural supports, such as culturally-themed clubs, dorms and diverse student identity groups.

Positive actions like these are delineated in the Equity in Mental Health Frameworkdeveloped by the Steve Fund in collaboration with the Jed Foundation. These resources can help young people of color thrive socially, academically and emotionally.

Annelle B. Primm, M.D., MPH is currently senior medical adviser to the Steve Fund, and senior psychiatrist adviser to Hope Health Systems and several other organizations. During her career, Dr. Primm has been Deputy Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association; Director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Community Psychiatry Program; an editor of the books, Disparities in Psychiatric Careand Women in Psychiatry: Personal Perspectives; and a lecturer and video producer on the mental health of diverse and underserved populations.

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Join Us at the Campus Prevention Network Summit June 6-8 in New Orleans

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Join us at the 2018 Campus Prevention Network Summit

The Steve Fund is partnering with EVERFI to conduct the 2018 Campus Prevention Network Summit June 6 – June 8 in New Orleans, LA.

Join us!  This three-day gathering of seasoned higher education professionals, prevention education leaders, health and safety stakeholders, and representatives from Student Affairs, Title IX, sorority and fraternity organizations, and HR offers opportunities to transform the discussions, strategy, and initiatives that keep campuses healthy and safe.

Stop by the Steve Fund’s exhibit to gain insight into the Equity in Mental Health Framework and discuss how it works to improve the mental health of students of color.

REGISTER HERE: https://annual.cpnsummit.com/2018/register/

As a Summit Partner in Thought Leadership, we are pleased to provide you with a special registration rate of $100 (a $349 discount!) using code stevefundsummit100

 

 

 

The Power of Self Care – April 2018

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

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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.

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