The United Negro College Fund and the Steve Fund, an organization devoted to the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color, are teaming up to address mental health at historically Black colleges and universities and predominantly Black institutions, the organizations announced Tuesday.
According to a survey the two organizations conducted at 47 HBCUs last year, nearly 70 percent of students want to be informed of resources and events regarding emotional well-being. To that end, UNCF and the Steve Fund are hosting a mental health session this week at UNCF’s summit on Black higher education, which started Sunday and runs through Thursday.
The two-year partnership aims to support more comprehensive research and create an action plan to address mental health and emotional well-being on up to 40 HBCU and PBI campuses. The organizations will also administer the Healthy Minds mental health survey at all participating HBCUs. Based on the results, the Steve Fund will develop programming to address mental health needs for HBCUs that are UNCF members. The Steve Fund will work with UNCF to create a Black student mental health conference, building on a conference it piloted in January.
“Today more than ever, we are keenly aware that student success is linked to the ability of institutions to respond to the mental health status of their students,” Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF, said in a statement. “Our students have shown tremendous resilience in the face of an unprecedented and unpredictable time. Together with the Steve Fund, we are ready to place the mental health of Black students and Black colleges and universities at the center of an initiative focused on their student success and excellence.”