Supporting Mental Well-Being for Students of Color

September 03, 2021

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Inside Higher Ed News

Results of a pilot program show how campuses can support the mental health of students of color. The Jed Foundation and The Steve Fund started the program, which trialed implementation of the Equity in Mental Health Framework across 18 U.S. colleges and universities. At the end of the two-year pilot, all participating institutions had surveyed students about their mental health and 93% had aimed to diversify counseling staff. Many reported taking steps to prioritize mental health equity across campus by including it in department goals and strategic plans, creating advisory boards, and offering educational programs. Based on the program results, The Steve Fund has created the Equity in Mental Health on Campus initiative to help colleges develop, implement, and refine similar efforts. Laura Sánchez-Parkinson, director of partnerships, programs, and research at The Steve Fund, offered guidance for colleges just getting started in mental health equity. “For those who are still working to build momentum on their campus, they can initiate conversations across units, provide training to faculty and staff, or address a specific policy that might be negatively affecting students of color,” she said. “What we saw is that once the conversation starts, campus leaders can build momentum and attain the buy-in necessary to create lasting investments and campus change.”

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