For immediate release
Mental Health of Students of Color is Focus for Lunch and Learn Hosted by the Harvard Black Alumni Society and the Steve Fund
The Harvard Black Alumni Society and the Steve Fund present two national experts on the mental health needs of students of color at a lunch convening on Saturday, November 14, 11-1 PM ET, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Longfellow 319, 3rd floor, Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way.
Boston (November 10, 2015) The mental health and emotional well-being of students of color will be the focus of a “lunch & learn” conversation with two national experts on this subject, Dr. Annelle Primm and Dr. Kevin Cokley. The event is titled “Empowered Minds: Freedom to Love, Laugh and Live Healthy Lives” and will take place at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on November 14. The event is hosted by the Harvard Black Alumni Society and the Steve Fund.
A study showed that lifetime percentages of depression are 6.52% among Caucasian Americans, 5.17% among Hispanic Americans, and 4.57% among African-Americans. Asian Americans used mental health services at about one-third the rate and Hispanic and African Americans at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. At this point, it is unclear why students of color do not seek treatment as much as their Caucasian counterparts. There is concern that since these groups have lower lifetime percentages of depression they do not know when and how to seek help.
“Research shows that differences in the ethnic background of students require culturally-sensitive approaches to fully support their mental health and emotional well-being,” says Evan Rose, co-founder and president of the Steve Fund, the nation’s only nonprofit focused on the mental health needs of students of color. “But these needs are understudied, and underserved.”
“The general challenges associated with emerging adulthood combined with the unique societal stressors facing young people of color warrant our support of their emotional well-being,” says Dr. Annelle Primm, one of the two presenters at the event. Dr. Primm is a community psychiatrist currently serving as a Senior Psychiatrist Advisor for Urban Behavioral Associates. Well known for her leadership of community collaborations, Dr. Primm is the Convener and Chair of the All Healers Mental Health Alliance, a national network of mental health professionals, health advocates and faith community leaders that facilitates culturally tailored responses to the mental health needs of people affected by disasters.
“We need to know more about the psychological and environmental factors that impact African American student achievement,” says Dr. Kevin Cokley who will also speak at the event. Dr. Cokley is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology as well as the Department of African and African American Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. The research of Dr. Kevin Cokley encompasses numerous facets of African American psychology.
“It is crucial for our community to begin this conversation about mental health and emotional well-being,” says Mark A. Price, president of the The Harvard Black Alumni Society. “We are glad to co-host this event to help bring this important issue to wider attention.”
Lunch will be served during the event.
Empowered Minds: Freedom to Love, Laugh and Live Healthy Lives
WHEN: Saturday, November 14, 11-1 PM ET
WHERE: Harvard Graduate School of Education Longfellow 319, 3rd floor, Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way
About the Steve Fund
The Steve Fund 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. For more information, please visit www.stevefund.org.
About the Harvard Black Alumni Society
The Harvard Black Alumni Society (HBAS) is the official alumni organization for African-American graduates of all Harvard schools. It is dedicated to the idea of building and strengthening the Harvard Black Alumni community. For more information please visitwww.hbasonline.org.
- Oquendo MA, Lizardi D, Greenwald S, Weissman MM, Mann JJ. Rates of lifetime suicide attempt and rates of lifetime major depression in different ethnic groups in the United States. Acta Psychiat Scand 2004;110:446–451.
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