Mental health among young people has become a national priority due to relational stressors and societal changes. Depression among adolescents in the U.S. has increased by 41% between 2006 and 2014 and it is expected to be one of the leading contributors to premature death. Anxiety and depression have been identified to spike during life transitions such as graduating from high school, going to college, or entering the workforce. Students of color in particular experience circumstances, such as racial/ethnic discrimination, disparities in mental health services, and marginalization that uniquely negatively contributes to their mental health and well-being and impedes both academic performance and college satisfaction.
Building knowledge and capacity among organizations serving young people of color is a critical element of The Steve Fund’s mission. Therefore, we offer an array of virtual and in-person programs and services grounded in research and best practices designed to address the mental health and wellbeing of young people of color and ensure they have an equal opportunity to thrive in their academic and career pursuits. Sessions have been designed and are led by mental health research and practice experts with multidisciplinary and diverse backgrounds.
The Steve Fund partners with higher education institutions to enhance existing mental health efforts by adopting an equity-minded approach and to better understand and support the mental health of 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, student affairs) to develop and implement a campus strategic plan. 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.
The Steve Fund partners with nonprofits, community organizations, and higher education institutions to offer professional development for administrators, instructors, providers, police, advocates, and others that wish to increase their awareness and gain skills to support the mental health and wellbeing of students of color. Participants will have an opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with a community of professionals who are committed to equity in mental health. Training is available virtually, pre-recorded, or in person. Topics include: culturally responsive mental health services, responding to campus trauma, and building institutional support for the well-being of students of color.
Student workshops are designed to equip high school and college students of color with the knowledge and skills to maintain a positive mental health and wellbeing throughout their life transitions and academic pursuits. Each workshop is available virtually, pre-recorded or in person and includes topics such as: self-care, racial healing, coping, and addressing microaggressions and racial incidents.
The Steve Fund offers consulting services to college leaders and other personnel to inform and support their efforts to meet the mental health needs of students of color. To this end, working with noted multicultural mental health and higher education experts, our consultation expertise includes psychiatry; psychology; diversity, equity and inclusion; development of organizations, programs, policies, strategies and services; and communications about mental health and emotional wellness. Our goal is to illuminate the urgent need to better understand, deepen, and leverage the links among emotional well-being, academic success, and successful transition to productive career achievement and life goals.