Equity in Mental Health on Campus

Colleges and universities are instrumental to promote the well-being of students, invest in programs and services, partner with units across campus, and provide a holistic approach to mental health care and prevention. The Steve Fund partners with higher education institutions to holistically enhance existing mental health efforts by understanding the needs of students of color and other intersecting identities in order to ensure a positive mental health and emotional well-being. 

Our Approach

Through this partnership, colleges and universities develop, implement, and refine on-campus programs to support the emotional well-being and mental health of students of color. We adopt an equity-minded approach to acknowledge the racial and ethnic inequalities ingrained in our society and education systems, and in partnership, we work to address the needs and support the mental health, well-being, and success of students of color. The Steve Fund’s approach draws from the Equity in Mental Health Framework which was developed in collaboration with The JED Foundation. 

An Institutional Commitment 

Institutional partners may be at any stage of on-campus programming, development, and implementation. We aim to complement existing efforts in order to improve campus racial climate, reduce mental health stigma, and increase participation in mental health services among students of color. Each campus forms a team of 5-8 leaders and/or faculty members that represent diverse units on campus (e.g. counseling center, diversity/multicultural offices, academic affairs). To become a partner, institutions must commit to an 18-month process including virtual and in-person learning and working sessions guided by multicultural scholar and practitioner experts. 

18-Month Timeline 

1 month

Team Formation & Onboarding 

A diverse campus team is created and members are onboarded.

Professional Development and Participation in a Learning Community 

Campus teams join a national higher education community working towards equity in mental health. The Steve Fund provides professional development opportunities and a virtual platform to engage with leaders and professionals within and across campuses. 

2 months

Needs Assessment 

A campus-specific needs assessment is conducted to gather information via surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Existing institutional data (such as climate surveys) are also collected and an inventory of campus mental health services and programs is created to identify unmet needs for students of color.

3 months

Report & Strategic Planning 

Each institution receives a needs assessment summary with  detailed guidance. Teams review the report and collaborate with The Steve Fund to develop campus-specific, actionable, and  measurable goals to address students’ mental health and wellbeing.

9 months

Implementation & Check-Ins 

The Steve Fund experts provide guidance and resources to implement the strategic plan. Check-ins throughout this phase include technical assistance and expert consultation.

3 months

Evaluation & Sustainability Plans

A post-initiative data collection including surveys and interviews with students, staff, and faculty are conducted, and campus teams meet with experts to evaluate the implementation process and identify achievements. Schools develop their plan for next steps and sustainability. The Steve Fund provides a summary of institutional work and accomplishments. 

COST & CONTACT 

For more information please contact Laura Sánchez-Parkinson at laura@stevefund.org

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