We matter - and so does
our mental health
#STRENGTH IN SHARING tells our stories
with resources to support healing
As young men of color, we’re raising our voices because there is #STRENGTH IN SHARING. Our voices, our stories, and our lives matter.
At Steve Fund we know that 1 in 5 young people struggle with mental health or learning disorder – and that communities of color have been hit hard, especially during the pandemic.
When we share our stories, we not only find help, we find hope. Together we’re changing the way we talk about and take care of our mental health – and each other. Join the conversation!
Watch Video Stories
Mental Health Advocate
“I was 15 or 16 when I started to struggle with depression. But because my family didn’t talk about it at the time, I didn’t even know what it was.”
Cam F. Awesome
Champion Olympic Boxer and Mental Health Advocate“For me anxiety became to be a major issue in middle school. I didn’t know what anxiety was but I remember feeling overwhelmed in crowded areas…Then I got help. I started to implement self-care routines to help alleviate my anxiety. I learned the power of practicing gratitude, the power of self-talk and to be conscious of my diet…”
Wellness Podcast Host“I dealt with bouts of depression for years. I still do today, but thankfully it’s under control because I found ways to grapple with it. I started by seeking a higher power, meditating, feeding my body and mind, and getting to that place of mind-body-soul, which I think is so critical to mental health.”
Comedian“If you’re struggling with something that is mental health-related, don’t struggle alone. Reach out to somebody. Find professional help. You may end up being a happy, smiling person who doesn’t have to fake it.”
Mental Health Advocate“You can pray and work for your mental health. In addition to my spiritual practice, I can also journal, go to counseling, challenge negative thoughts… and in doing this it helps me to be well.”
Bobby Spears, Jr.
Author“Maybe it’s being a man, more specifically a black man, I thought I was supposed to just struggle through on my own but trust me that’s not the way. Seeking help is the most powerful thing a man can do.”
Mental Health Advocate“After years of lying about who I was and not dealing with my issues and 22 suicide attempts, I finally got help and realized that you can’t deal with yesterday’s pain and bring it into today. I have to realize I only can deal with today.”
Football Player“I learned anger is okay. Sadness is okay. That it’s okay not to be okay. You don’t have to feel good all the time. I learned all this through therapy. It was huge.”
Christian Psychologist“We think controlling our emotions is keeping it in…but actually that’s the toxic thing for us to do. It’s better to let it out. Remember what you talk about you control, but what you can’t talk about controls you.”
Alfred Coles, Jr.
Artist, Mental Health Advocate“Know that we’re all going through struggles and there is power in vulnerability so don’t be afraid to seek the help you need.”
Sharing our Stories
Mental Health Awareness means a lot to me. When I was in college, I suffered from Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I always wanted everything to be perfect, and a 98% grade wasn’t good enough for me. I believe it is crucial to speak to someone who can help. I overcame this Obsessive-Compulsive behavior by speaking to a chosen family member that guided me throughout college. If you feel this way, I suggest that you talk to someone who can help.
Senior Claim Examiner,
Having studied sociology and law, mental health is such a driving force in my life. I believe that with guidance, love and trust, humanity will definitely be impacted positively. Bettering one’s mental health benefits not just one’s self but humanity on a whole.
Mental Health Advocate
I grew up in a family where we didn’t talk about mental health. In college I didn’t know how to talk about it. A friend helped and I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. You can pray and work for your mental health. In addition to my spiritual practice, I can also journal, go to counseling, challenge negative thoughts… and in doing this it helps me to be well.
The Steve Fund is partnering with Harry’s and young men of color to speak up about mental health. Together, we aim to find the help, hope and healing we all need to thrive.
Today, there is a mental health crisis in our communities. Too many young people of color are failing academically, suffering emotionally and facing serious risk. Why? Because mental health is poorly understood and not acted on.
Here are resources to help you start sharing your stories and feelings:
Sometimes it can feel hard to be honest with ourselves and others about how we feel. So, how do you start?
Start sharing your emotional reactions to simple everyday things. For example, when talking about the weather, share how the weather is making you feel. With practice, you can gradually start talking about more significant issues, such as your feelings about relationships, work, and health.
- Cloudy days always make me feel _________.
- Today, work is making me feel __________. Or, that meeting made me feel __________.
- Right now, my relationships are making me feel ___________.
Offering help to others starts with believing and validating what the other person shares with you. It is important to let the person know they are being heard and that their feelings are okay.
Avoid giving advice or problem solving. Instead, paraphrase back to the person what you are hearing as a way of validating their experience and feelings.
To learn more about offering support, visit Active Minds.
The Box Breathing mindfulness technique for connecting to your breath in stressful times can help reduce the negative impact of stress during difficult moments.
Here’s how it works: Start by inhaling for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold the exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat as necessary. You can find an example here.