The Jed Foundation (JED) and The Steve Fund have launched a framework of strategies that colleges can use to face disparities regarding mental health and people of color.

The Equity in Mental Health Framework (EMH Framework) has an aim of helping colleges and universities to support and enhance the mental health of students of color.

According to research, college students of color are nearly twice as likely not to seek help when they are experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety compared to white students. And a recent online Harris Poll of 1,000 college students conducted by the firms (which surveyed equal samples of Black, Latinx White and Asian American students) found that students of color were significantly less likely to describe their campus as inclusive (28% to 45%). They were more likely to indicate feeling isolated on campus (46% to 30%).

JED and The Steve Foundation interpreted these findings as representing a need for a more tailored approach to protecting mental health for students of color.

“The Equity in Mental Health Framework fills an urgent gap at colleges and universities, and across our society” said Evan Rose, President of the Steve Fund said in a statement. “Inequity in mental health is a dire national problem which impedes well-being of communities of color.  Our young people face daunting challenges as they transition to adulthood, including those fortunate enough to pursue higher education.”

Both JED and The Steve Fund nonprofits work to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults in America. Both partner with high schools and colleges around the country in an effort to strengthen their mental health prevention programs, to equip teens and young adults with the necessary skills to help themselves and each other.

The survey was conducted online between Jan. 26 and Feb. 21 among 1,056 U.S. college students. Participants ranged in age between 17 and 27, who identified as either Black (n=260), Hispanic (n=283) Asian (n=255) or White (n= 258).

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