Self-Care Blog: Raising Awareness about Suicide Prevention

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Every September we observe Suicide Prevention Month. It is a time to learn as much as we can about this alarming public health issue—most often related to mental illness. And it is also a time to listen, to offer help, and to eliminate stigmas around suicidal thoughts and seeking support.

Recent statistics suggest that suicide is on the rise among young people ages 15 to 24 years old, as are incidents of suicidal thoughts. Suicide rates are much higher for some population segments such as American Indians/Alaska Natives and rising for others such as young black males.  Despite the mental stress from dealing with persistent racism, discrimination and exclusion, young people of color are half as likely than the general population to get the mental health care they need. Mental health services, social support, and connectedness are just a few of the approaches that can help prevent suicide.

At The Steve Fund, we want to provide all young people of color with support resources that help meet these specific needs. That’s why we have partnered with some of the most innovative tech solutions, including:

  • Anytime, anywhere, text STEVE to 741741 and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will respond. Whether you’re feeling down, stressed or overwhelmed, this service is specifically designed to help meet the unique needs of young people of color.
  • There’s always someone to talk to via our partnership with the 7Cups platform. Young people of color can find support, therapy or simply someone to speak to.

We also want to share a few reminders to help you deal with challenges and thoughts that may weigh heavily on you.

  • There is no shame in seeking help for mental health concerns. We often hear messages to stay “strong,” but it is important to be honest with ourselves when we or people we care about are thinking in a self-destructive way.  Taking care of ourselves by getting help from a health professional is a priority.
  • If it feels important, then it is important. Whether you are listening to someone around you or dealing with your own thoughts, recognize that suicidal thoughts are serious and deserve your attention.
  • Listen openly, without judgment. One of the most important ways we can help prevent suicide is by listening, accepting what we hear and showing that we care by helping people get the help they need.

On behalf of everyone at The Steve Fund, I invite you to commemorate Suicide Prevention Month with us by taking the time to listen. You never know when someone may need your help.

Be well,

Anuja Khemka
Executive Director

The Steve Fund and the University of Texas at Austin Host Young, Gifted, & @ Risk 2018

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The Steve Fund and the University of Texas at Austin  Host Young, Gifted, & @ Risk 2018

Conference is the largest national gathering of mental health experts and educators focused on the mental health needs of college and university students of color.

AUSTIN, TX (November 14, 2018) – Today, the Steve Fund and the University of Texas at Austin are hosting the 5th Annual Young, Gifted & @ Risk conference, which will bring together nearly 450 behavioral health providers, students, higher education officials, community members and families to address the critical mental health needs of college and university students of color.

The Steve Fund is the nation’s only nonprofit organization focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of college and university students of color.  The annual conference will feature experts who will speak to cutting-edge issues such as:

  • Race, Immigration, and Trauma: Confronting a Racially Hostile Environment
  • Culture, Identity and Mental Health Among College Students of Color
  • Athletes’ Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Helping Families of Color Talk about Mental Health of College Students of Color
  • Social Media, Social Alienation, and Online Discrimination

Speakers include Evan Rose, President of the Steve Fund; Dr. Maurice McInnis, Executive Vice President and Provost, UT Austin; Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, Director, Latino Research Initiative, UT Austin; Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University School of Medicine and Senior Scientific Advisor to the Steve Fund; and Dr. Jeanne Manese, Director Emerita, UC Irvine Counseling Center.  

“We are thrilled to have so much participation from our colleagues in Texas, the South, and from across the country for our fifth annual Young, Gifted & @ Risk conference,” said Evan Rose, President of the Steve Fund. “Moving the needle toward equity in mental health is no light lift, but we are consistently humbled by the excellent work of so many committed clinicians, administrators, faculty members, and students advancing the mental health of students and young people of color across the nation.”

Steve Fund experts, senior staff and consultants, board members, and Youth Advisory Board members are available for interviews before, during, and after the conference.

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 college and university 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. Learn more at