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.

restoring hope building resilience

Outside In by Kendellyn M. Duncan

Kendellyn M. Duncan

15 year old, Kendellyn Duncan, articulates the emotional impact that recent gun violence has had on her generation and pleas for adults to make necessary change.

Family Corner Response Opening Video

Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan

Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan, the lead mental health expert for our Families Healing Together campaign, introduces this series on dealing with the mental health impacts of community trauma.

In order for families to heal together, we must address the community traumas that we face all too often. The mental health implications of community trauma, such as anxiety or depression, are ever-present and they affect the entire family. Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan and her 15 year old daughter, Kendellyn, help us to navigate these tough times and provide helpful tips for supporting our mental health, that of the young people in our lives, and ways to build resilience and hope for a brighter future.

Going There Part 1 & 2

Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan

Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan explores confronting our own emotions before we can support the young people in our lives and provides helpful tips for going there.

Going There Part 3

Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan

Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan discusses how to start and approach the conversation around community trauma with our young people.

Coming Out for Mental Health

Explore what it means to come out in communities of color

What does “coming out” really mean? What do you say — and to who? Will it affect my mental health? How does racial identity affect your experience of sexual and/or gender identity?

In this important discussion, Dr. David Rivera and mental health advocate Jarred Denzel explore “coming out” in communities of color.

Dr. David P. Rivera is an associate professor of counselor education at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), where he is also the Founding Director of the CUNY LGBTQI Student Leadership Program. Jarred Denzel is a PR and media strategist who offers brand partnership direction to LGBTQIA+ focused community programs. He has secured coverage in The NY Times, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, VOGUE, ELLE, and more.

Back in School Toolkit

Download social posts and resources to share on your social media accounts and with others.

Social media post downloads
Including tips, resources and coping strategies for students, families and educators

Resource sheet downloads
Including managing stress and anxiety, social stressors, suicide prevention and supporting students of color

Resources to support you and your loved ones

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.

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 wellbeing.

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

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

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)


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.


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:

Learn more about finding a therapist in this article from The Cut.

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


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

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