The United Negro College Fund and the Steve Fund, an organization dedicated to the mental health and mental well-being of young people of color, have historically teamed up to fight mental health in black colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions, the organizations announced Tuesday.
According to a survey of two organizations conducted at 47 HBCUs last year, about 70 percent of students want to be aware of mental health resources and events. To that end, the UNCF and the Steve Fund are hosting a mental health session this week at the UNCF Summit on Black Higher Education, which began on Sunday and runs through Thursday.
The goal of the two-year partnership is to support more extensive research and to develop an action plan for mental health and wellness on 40 HBCU and PBI campuses. The companies will conduct a healthy mental health survey on all participating HBCUs. Based on the results, the Steve Fund will create programming to meet the mental health needs of UNCF member HBCU. The Steve Fund will work with UNCF to create a Black Student Mental Health Conference, based on a conference held in January.
Michael L., President and CEO of UNCF. “Today, more than ever, we are deeply aware that student success is linked to the ability of institutions to respond to the mental health of their students,” Lomax said in a statement. “Our students have shown tremendous resilience in the face of unprecedented and unexpected times. Together with the Steve Fund, we are ready to put black students ‘mental health and Black Colleges and Universities at the center of an initiative focused on their students’ success and excellence. “