NAMI and The Steve Fund Announce New Partnership Focused on Improving Mental Health in Black Familie | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Posted on July 29, 2021

Arlington, VA — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and The Steve Fund have established a new partnership to promote programs and services to support the mental health of Black families and other families of color, uniting two organizations with a mutual goal to build knowledge about mental health and access to needed resources. The initial focus of the NAMI and The Steve Fund partnership is Black families and communities — a timely and important priority, as Black Americans are reporting increased rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation at greater rates than people of other ethnic and majority groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past 15 months, Black adults have experienced higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms than white adults. Despite the needs, only 1 in 3 Black adults who need mental health care receive it — problems that are compounded by lower rates of health care coverage. “Partnerships like this are even more critical during times of shared hardship,” said Daniel H. Gillison Jr., CEO of NAMI. “Disparate levels of use and access to mental health care, as well as racial injustice, existed long before the pandemic. But the gaps are even wider now, especially for communities of color. Our goal is to work with The Steve Fund to close as many of these gaps as possible, while raising expectations for more equity in mental health going forward.” “The Steve Fund’s mission is to promote the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color, and building the mental health knowledge, resources and skills of their families is an essential part of our strategy,” said Evan Rose, president of the board and co-founder of The Steve Fund. “We will expand the reach of our mental health educational workshops, support groups, thought leadership convenings and family-focused programming through our partnership with NAMI” Rose said.  “This partnership is a promising way to give young people of color an equal chance at mental health by providing help their families need to support young people and other members.” The goals and benefits of the partnership are to:

  • Combine the expertise of both organizations to address the growing need for mental health support, initially in Black communities.
  • Identify access points of care and support for underserved communities.
  • Reduce the stigma around mental health in communities of color by leading national dialogue on the importance of promoting mental health and emotional well-being and treating mental illness.
  • Raise awareness of the inequities associated with COVID-19 and systemic injustices that have taken a disproportionate toll on mental health in Black communities, with higher rates of depression and anxiety and the worsening of pre-existing mental illness.
The organizations plan to co-host a “Town Hall for Mental Health of the Black Family” in September and a communications campaign centered on the return to school and mental health for Black families. The Steve Fund is a trusted thought leader whose experts advance conversations and build awareness about mental health and emotional well-being. It is a go-to resource for programs, services, technical assistance and support to promote the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. NAMI’s top strategic priorities for 2021 include connecting people who need help with quality mental and behavioral health care as early as possible, with an emphasis on reaching untreated youth, who experience higher rates of justice involvement than those who receive early treatment. NAMI plans to leverage The Steve Fund’s extensive knowledge and thought leadership on topics around the needs of young people of color.  

Steve Fund


About The Steve Fund

The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.  The Steve Fund works with colleges and universities, non-profits, corporations, researchers, mental health experts, families and young people of color to deliver culturally-competent on-campus and on-site programs and services and provide direct services to young people of color and those who support them. Visit to learn about tools such as their webinar series, “Community Conversations,” signature Programs & Services, conferences and Crisis Response Task Force report. Connect with The Steve Fund: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Linkedin


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