Healing journeys rarely happen alone. As family members, we can give and receive support when we or someone we love struggles. Whether we simply listen to understand or help a loved one find professional support, each of us can develop the qualities and skills we need to care for our families.

Resources to support you

At the Steve Fund we know that parents and caregivers who heal help their children in the process. We believe caring for our mental health is as important as caring for the body. We offer the information, resources, and tools below to support families find the help, hope, and healing they need to thrive.

Community Conversation: Families Healing Together

This evening of connection explores self-help and healing for families. Speakers include:

  • Dr. Gina Duncan, Adult Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Moderator
  • Shanila Sattar, Founder of Flow Breathwork Facilitator Training
  • Dr. Josephine Kim, Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Regina Crider, Executive Director of the Youth & Family Peer Support Alliance
 

10 Daily Affirmations

1. Today, I am grateful for the little things.

2. l am focused on the present instead of dwelling on the past.

3. I release shame and regret, and embrace positivity and hope for the future.

4. I am patient with myself as I undertake my healing journey.

5. I can ask for help.

6. I deserve joy and love.

7. Tomorrow is a new day.

8. My feelings are valid.

9. Taking time to tend to myself renews my mind, body, and spirit.

10. I give myself permission to make and learn from mistakes.

10 Parenting Affirmations

1. My family and I are a team. We solve problems and heal together.

2. I give my child space to learn, grow, and become who they want to be.

3. I trust my parenting and the values I have instilled in my child.

4. I am learning and growing with my child.

5. Taking care of my health and well-being sets a good example for my child.

6. My health and well-being matter as much as my child’s.

7. I accept that my child’s academic, social, and mental health journey may be different from mine or our family’s.

8. I can have compassion for my child and compassion for myself at the same time.

9. I respect my child’s boundaries and honor my own.

10. I release unrealistic expectations of myself and my child.

Breathe to stay present

Staying present in each moment is a powerful way to give yourself the space to balance acceptance and action. Incorporating gratitude for each breath and each moment we have can fuel the positive steps we can take each day.

meditating woman

The 4 Second Mindfulness Loop: Use and repeat as needed

1. Breathe in for 6 seconds
2. Hold the breath for 7 seconds
3. Exhale for 8 seconds
4. Repeat

Reset, Release, and Recharge

Expert Tip

“There are these things you can do — mindful meditation, deep breathing exercises, holding, building a gratitude practice that can actually help rebalance and recalibrate your brain chemicals in such a way that they reduce the stress impact on your body.”

– Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond

Join our Mailing List

Receive periodic updates, resources, and more.

Resources to support your loved ones

Today, 1 in 5 children and adolescents live with a mental health, learning, or substance use disorder. Our communities’ mental health concerns are disproportionately impacted by the profound effects of racism and racialized trauma.

Sometimes it can be hard to acknowledge what our young people face and to take action. But, together, we can support our young people with information and resources to support their mental health and well-being.

Warning Signs: What to look for in the young person in your life

As a parent, caregiver, or family member, you may sense that something is amiss with your child or loved one. If you are concerned that they are struggling and need support, consider these signs and signals — and take action for them and your family.

In crisis? Take action.

If a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, please take action:

  • Text STEVE to 741741 for young people of color to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 from the Crisis Text Line
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
    En Español: 1-888-628-9454
    For the deaf and hard of hearing: Dial 711, then 1-800-273-8255.

Expert Resources

More on warning signs from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

5 ways to support your young person

Expert Tip

“In the end, it’s not, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ but ‘What wrong is happening to you, and how you are perceiving it and coping with it.’ ”

– Dr. Farha Abbasi

Finding the right mental health professional

When a child struggles, professional help can be critical to moving through the challenges. Here is a roadmap to help you and your young person navigate the journey.

  • Common goals include dealing with stress, trauma, and/or grief, exploring a mental health condition you have or think you might have, and/or seeking help for an emotional issue in your life.
  • It’s okay if you aren’t sure what your goals are, but know you want to talk with someone. A solid therapist can help you figure out your goals and work toward them with therapy.
  • Some issues may not need a specialized therapist. On the other hand, it may be helpful to have a therapist with specialized training for specific health conditions like anxiety.

 

Note your therapist preferences (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, faith, years of experience)

RESOURCE TIP:

For more on selecting the right professional, please read this article from Psych Central.

  • Psychologists: Clinical and counseling psychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology and are trained to make diagnoses and provide individual, group, couples, and family therapy, but typically cannot prescribe medication.
  • Social Workers: Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) have a master’s degree in social work (MSW) and are trained to make diagnoses, provide individual, group, couples, and family counseling, and provide case management and advocacy.
  • Therapists: Marital and Family Therapists have a master’s degree and clinical experience in marital and family therapy. They are also trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group counseling.
  • Faith Counselor: Faith leaders are ordained for religious duty and have training in clinical pastoral education and making diagnoses. They can provide individual and group counseling.
  • Psychiatrists: A psychiatrist is a physician (M.D. or D.O.) with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. As medical doctors they are able to prescribe medication, but generally do not counsel patients.

RESOURCE TIP:

Learn more about the types of mental health professionals in this article from Mental Health America.

  • Professional Directories: Here is a list of links tailored for people of color that considers a number of factors for finding the right professional, including specializations and areas of expertise.
  • Insurance Directory: If you have health insurance, calling the number on the back of your health insurance card can help you understand your behavioral healthcare coverage options.
  • Employee Benefits: An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential program that supports employees experiencing personal or work-related issues. It may provide free therapy sessions.
  • Friend Recommendation: Friends may be helpful in providing suggestions and/or can share their experience with a specific provider.

PLEASE NOTE: The Steve Fund does not endorse or verify the license, skills, or experience of any therapists listed in the directories.

  • Initial consultations: Therapists may have a free initial phone or in-person consultation before setting up an appointment. These consultations are usually 15 minutes or less, covering your background, specific issues you’re struggling with, and your therapy goals.
  • Questions to consider asking:
    • “Have you worked with someone from my community or in similar situations?”
    • “How do you include issues of race and culture in your work?”
    • “Tell me more about your approach.”
    • “How do you recommend treating my issue?”
    • “Do you offer services on a sliding-scale?”
  • How can you tell if a therapist is trustworthy?
    • Does the therapist show compassion, humility, and respect?
    • Is the therapist a good listener?
    • Do they listen without interrupting?
    • Does it seem that the therapist understands you?
    • Are they comfortable answering questions or are they defensive, dismissive, judgmental, trivial, and/or critical?
    • Are they transparent about all details, including payment?
    • Do you feel that the therapist truly cares about you and your issues?
  • Test the Waters
    If you find a therapist is not the best fit, don’t settle. Whether this realization comes during the first meeting or after some time together, it is okay to change therapists. The key thing is to keep seeking support. Remember, you are the consumer.

    If you have been meeting with a therapist for some time and want to change, it may feel uncomfortable mentioning this. If you do, they may help you find someone who is better suited to your needs and refer you to that person. You can also call an administrative assistant to discontinue sessions.

Resource Tip:

PLEASE NOTE: The Steve Fund does not endorse or verify the license, skills, or experience of any therapists listed in the directories.

collage

7 non-therapy practices to help a young person in your life

Taking care of our mental health and emotional well-being is an active process and each of us and our loved ones are in different places along our journeys. Here are seven ways to support the mental health of a young person of color in your life.

1  Journal: Writing in a journal helps us express how we feel and adds a “well-being check” into our lives. Questions can help get us started: “How am I feeling today?”, “What challenges did I face today?”, and “What went well for me today?” Our responses can help us both understand our feelings and take steps to address our well-being.

2  Move your body: Movement boosts our energy and mood. Whether we take a moment to dance, go outside, or play with a pet, it is important to connect and renew both mind and body.

3  Rest and relax: Rest for the sake of resting, not to do more. Take a nap, take a break, or disconnect from social media for a period of time.

4  Talk with a trusted loved one: When we share our stories, we feel less alone. Speak with a trusted friend, family member, faith leader, mentor, partner, or teacher and let them know how you’re feeling.

5  Work your inner voice: Start by recognizing your feelings rather than denying them. Then, have a conversation with yourself about your feelings and where you’d like to focus.

6  Start a gratitude practice: Gratitude can help shift negative emotions and experiences to positive ones. Here is a simple way to start: Sit and take deep breaths, reflecting on a different topic per breath or a few breaths:

  • One thing you’re looking forward to
  • One thing you’re proud of
  • One thing about who you want to be
  • Five people you’re grateful for
  • One thing you like about the way you look

7  Try a new hobby: Discover or deepen your interests, skills, and talents by trying something new. Don’t worry about being the greatest — it’s about the process, not perfection. Find tutorials on YouTube, read books, and consider attending an online workshop.

Share Your Story — When we share our stories we feel less alone

Past Event

Survival vs.Thrival: Supporting Black young women and girls in seeking their joy and magic

Wednesday, May 18
1:00-2:30 PM ET

Discuss the concept of “Black Joy” and what it means for Black young women and girls to thrive, not just survive. This session will be interactive and creative, and invite participants to reimagine and reflect on their own survival and thrival practices.

Past Event

Reclaiming and Liberating our Bodies: Supporting healthy body image and self-esteem for Black young women and girls

Wednesday, May 25
1:00 PM ET

Join a community conversation about physical wellness and supporting Black young women and girls with integrating positive and healthy body image skills and practices that supports and uplift mental health and wellness.

Upcoming Event

woman reading

Celebrating Black young women and girls as bosses and creatives: A community conversation on entrepreneurship and wellness

Wednesday, June 15
1:00 PM ET

Black young women and girls are thriving as bosses and creatives within entrepreneurship! Explore this growing career field and discuss the benefits for Black young women and girls — and how to support and uplift their creative ventures. Come celebrate Juneteenth with us!

In the News

The Steve Fund’s Response to the Tragedy in Buffalo

Donate

Join the Steve Fund in supporting the mental health and wellness of young people of color.

Our Mission: Promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color