The Steve Fund Answers Call to Action from the Surgeon General Advisory

The national non-profit is committed to addressing the mental health and well-being of young people of color in the face of unprecedented challenges

Providence, RI (December 8, 2021) — In response to this week’s report by the U.S. Surgeon General on the mental health crisis facing youth as a consequence of COVID-19, the Steve Fund, the nation’s leading organization focused on supporting the mental health and well-being of young people of color, reiterated its commitment to supporting young people who are experiencing trauma and other emotional challenges.

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy warned on Tuesday in a national advisory that the mental health crisis for young people in America, in particular those of color and marginalized communities, is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Surgeon General’s Advisory is a public statement that calls the American people’s attention to an urgent public health issue and provides recommendations for how it should be addressed. Advisories are reserved for significant public health challenges that need the nation’s immediate awareness and action.

“Now, more than ever, young people of color need mental health support and resources to meet the unprecedented and urgent challenges they face today,” said Evan Rose, President of the Board at the Steve Fund. “We recognize that an effective response requires well-coordinated, broadly-delivered, and culturally-sensitive support for youth, as well as those who serve and care for them. Timely, high-quality education, tools, and knowledge are essential. That is why the Steve Fund has focused on providing programs, services, and informative convenings across the country that bring together and actively engage young people and the adults who touch their lives. Our vision is a society-wide “Community of Action” that is multisectoral, multicultural, and collaborative in all regards to promote and protect the mental health of young people of color.”

The Steve Fund, a national nonprofit organization established in 2015, works with young people, colleges and universities, non-profits, researchers, mental health professionals, educators, families, and employers to build understanding and assistance for the mental health and emotional well-being of the nation’s young people of color. While the pandemic has affected all people, the Surgeon General’s report cited these groups of youth that are particularly susceptible to mental health difficulties:

● Youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) who found it especially difficult to manage disruptions to school and services such as special education, counseling, occupational, and speech therapies.
● Youth of color, including:
● American Indian and Alaska Native youth
● Black youth
● Latino youth
● Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander youth
● LGBTQ+ youth
● Low-income youth
● Youth in rural areas
● Youth in immigrant households
● Special youth populations, including:
● Youth involved with the juvenile justice or child welfare systems
● Runaway youth
● Youth experiencing homelessness

The Steve Fund is aggressively addressing the disproportionate burdens on young people of color by delivering support groups, peer programs, psycho-educational workshops, national dialogues, and community conversations throughout the U.S. It is partnering with employers, colleges, schools and community organizations. In 2022, the Steve Fund is redoubling its efforts by building upon its robust set of programs, services and resources.

Offerings include:
● Young, Gifted & Well for Families
● Community Conversations
● Crisis Response Task Force Recommendations
● Grief and loss workshops for students and educators
● Programs and services for high school students and educators
● Programs and services for and in collaboration with minority serving educational
● Programs and services for girls and young women
● Programs and services for boys and young men
● Programs and services for families of young people
● Programs and services for employers and early career employees
● Crisis Text Line
● Equity in Mental Health on Campus Initiative & Framework
● SpeakOnIt Podcast
● The Steve Fund Digital Transformation initiative, building even greater reach to young people and their supporters and making knowledge and resources more accessible.