NEW REPORT: COLLEGES USING EQUITY IN MENTAL HEALTH FRAMEWORK FIND SUCCESS IN ELEVATING THE MENTAL HEALTH OF STUDENTS OF COLOR
The Steve Fund and The Jed Foundation release results of a two-year pilot implementation project sharing best practices to improve the mental health of students of color
NEW YORK, June 24, 2021 — The Steve Fund, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization devoted to the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color and The Jed Foundation (JED), a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults, today released the results of a two-year pilot implementation project of the Equity in Mental Health Framework (EMHF) to help colleges and universities support and enhance the mental health of students of color.
As racial tensions on college campuses have grown over the last few years, and with the CDC declaring racism a public health crisis, research indicates that students of color are almost twice as likely not to seek care when they feel depressed or anxious compared to white students.
In 2017, the Steve Fund and JED developed the EMHF which provides colleges and universities with a set of ten actionable recommendations and key implementation strategies to help strengthen their activities and programs to address the mental health disparities facing students of color. The two organizations piloted a two-year implementation of the EMHF with 18 colleges and universities. Pilot program findings include:
- Senior administrative buy-in to implement the EMHF proved to be critical in delivering successful outcomes.
- Cross-departmental collaborative efforts had the most successes in providing comprehensive mental health support for students of color.
- Dedicated financial resources for prioritizing the mental health of students of color demonstrated the commitment to the campus community.
- EMHF workshops proved beneficial in increasing campus stakeholder engagement.
- Pilot colleges that maximized the EMHF consultation services in executing the Equity and Mental Framework on campus reported best results.
It is the Steve Fund’s mission to promote equity and mental health for young people of color as they transition into college and throughout their experiences on campus. Based on the results of the EMH pilot project, the Steve Fund is working with campuses across the country to implement the EMH framework and offering consultation services to help campuses achieve optimal results. “This new initiative engages college campuses to intentionally address their campus racial climate, policies, programs, and services to better support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color,” said Evan Rose, president of the board and co-founder of the Steve Fund, “Our approach is to partner with campuses where they are, providing programming, as well as strategic and implementation support to address growing mental health needs and disparities caused by systemic factors and the COVID-19 pandemic.” Campuses that wish to implement the Equity in Mental Health on Campus program should contact Monica Ingkavet at Monica@stevefund.org.
“As colleges prepare for students returning to campus this fall, our priority is to help colleges and universities equitably implement a comprehensive approach to mental health and suicide prevention,” said John MacPhee, JED’s executive director and CEO. “The pilot implementation project showed us that colleges and universities are ready and committed to changing systems, policies, and practices to better meet the mental health needs of their students of color.”
JED helps high schools, colleges and universities implement a comprehensive, community-based model of protecting student emotional health and preventing suicide at schools. Over 350 colleges and universities, representing more than 4.5 million students, participate in JED Campus, JED’s signature initiative designed to guide schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, program and policy development with customized support to build upon existing student mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention efforts.
Please visit equityinmentalhealth.org to access the EMH Pilot Report and other valuable resources.
About The Jed Foundation (JED)
JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their programming, services, and systems related to mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health. Learn more at jedfoundation.org.
About The Steve Fund
The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading 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, corporations, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people of color to deliver culturally-competent on-campus and on-site programs and services, and provide direct services to young people of color and those who support them. Learn more at: stevefund.org
THE STEVE FUND AND JED LAUNCH EQUITY IN MENTAL HEALTH FRAMEWORK TO SUPPORT COLLEGE STUDENTS OF COLOR
Ten actionable strategies colleges can use to bridge mental health disparities facing students of color
NEW YORK, November 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Jed Foundation (JED), a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults, and The Steve Fund, a nonprofit created to address the mental health needs of young people of color, today announced The Equity in Mental Health Framework (EMH Framework) to help colleges and universities support and enhance the mental health of students of color.
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. Additionally, a recent online Harris Poll of 1,000 college students conducted by JED and the Steve Fund (with equal samples of African American, Latinx, White and Asian American students) found that students of color (in comparison to white students) are significantly less likely to describe their campus as inclusive (28% to 45%) and more likely to indicate that they often feel isolated on campus (46% to 30%). These statistics indicate a need for a more tailored approach to protecting the mental health of students of color.
The EMH Framework provides academic institutions with a set of ten actionable recommendations and key implementation strategies to help strengthen their activities and programs to address the mental health disparities facing students of color such as mentioned above. With expert input from the College Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital, the EMH Framework was developed using the national Harris poll of 1,000 college students, a scientific literature review, a national convening of higher education leaders, and an electronic survey of higher education administrators.
“The Equity in Mental Health Framework fills an urgent gap at colleges and universities, and across our society” said Evan Rose, President of the Steve Fund. “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. These expert recommendations build understanding of the challenges while equipping colleges and universities to better address our students’ needs. This effort 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.”
The investigative efforts behind the EMH Framework included a comprehensive examination of studies on the unique mental health challenges students of color face and a number of current interventions and programs aiming to meet their needs.
“We created the Equity in Mental Health Framework to provide colleges and universities across the country with accessible information, ideas and examples to inform and strengthen their mental health supports and programs for students of color,” said John MacPhee, JED Executive Director. “Our goal is to stimulate discussion and new research while helping more schools prioritize these efforts in order to ensure mental health equity for our nation’s college students.”
Videos on the EMH Framework site feature supportive statements by higher education leaders from Morehouse College, the University System of Maryland and Trinity Washington University.
“I favor increasing the level of support available to students of color at our national college and university campuses,” says John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University “This is a very special moment and we need to seize the opportunities present here to provide the best communities for all of our students. I think every college and university president must understand how urgent it is to tend to these dynamics.”
Please visit equityinmentalhealth.org to access the EMH Framework and other valuable resources.
JED is a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. JED partners with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and systems; equips teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other; and encourages community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health. Learn more at jedfoundation.org.
About the Steve Fund
The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading 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 Steve Fund holds an annual conference, Young, Gifted & @Risk, and offers a Knowledge Center with curated expert information. With multicultural mental health experts, it delivers on-campus and on-site programs and services for colleges and non-profits, and through tech partnerships it provides direct services to young people of color. .
About the Survey
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll between January 26 and February 21, 2017 among 1,056 students who were US residents, 17-27 years old, identified as Black/African American (n=260), Hispanic (n=283), Asian (n=255), or White (n=258), currently attends a 2-year or 4-year college in the U.S., and currently attends the majority of their college classes in-person. Data are weighted where necessary by age within gender, race/ethnicity, income, enrollment status, year in school and region to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.
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