In 2008, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution to officially recognize July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month. The month is named for author and activist Bebe Moore Campbell, who worked tirelessly to de-stigmatize mental health issues and increase access to mental healthcare in communities of color. Since then, the initiative has grown to include other marginalized groups and underserved populations, including LGBTQ+ communities.
Facilitating access to mental health support for students shot to the top of priority lists all across the country as the coronavirus turned school communities upside-down and shone a spotlight on the toll that the pandemic has taken on children and adolescents.
Loneliness, isolation, and the loss of school support systems thrust a lot of kids into completely uncharted territory, and the impact was significant. And at every turn, students in minority populations experienced double- and triple-whammies.
For instance, Black and Latinx communities had higher instances of Covid-19 and were also more likely to be negatively impacted economically or experience housing insecurity as a result of quarantine. There has been a spike in anti-Asian racism and violence, and many LGBTQ+ students quarantined with families that did not support — or outright rejected — them. Each of these factors adds another layer of potentially poor mental health outcomes for vulnerable student populations that were already less likely to have access to care even prior to the pandemic. When summer ends, so will the physical isolation of the past year and a half for most students. The return to school also represents returned access to mental health resources for students who rely on them. The end of the pandemic may be in sight, but the impact on mental health, particularly for marginalized students, will likely be felt for years to come. All of this presents a unique and urgent opportunity to extend the goals of National Minority Mental Health Month into the rest of the year and build culturally competent social and emotional networks. And while we're not mental health experts here at SchooLinks, we're dedicated to supporting those of you who are, and hope that this list of resources will serve that goal.
The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds is an online resource provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Their podcast, Shrinking it Down is hosted by the Center's Chief and Associate Directors, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Kadijah Booth-Watkins. In this episode, they sit down with Dr. Angel Caraballo for a frank discussion about mental health stigma and other challenges unique to Hispanic and Latinx communities and children.
School Counseling and Males of Color — I Hear You Say
I Hear You Say is a podcast produced by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). This episode takes a look at what it will take to support young men of color when they return to school after not only a pandemic but the social unrest and reckoning in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the murder trial of Derek Chauvin.
Karla Allen is a professional school counselor in Virginia, and the host of the Virginia School Counselor Association's (VSCA) podcast, School Counselor Opportunities and Professional Engagement, or SCOPE. She's joined by fellow school counselor Josh Hurley to discuss strategies for supporting LGBTQ+ youth, even in communities where doing so requires challenging long-held beliefs.
Videos and webinars
This mini-documentary from Vice takes a deeper look at the disproportionate rate of anxiety, depression, and suicide attempt rate for Latina teens and how a scarcity of mental health resources can exacerbate the inability to get help when it's needed.
Hear students of color tell, in their own words, what the pandemic has meant for them and the mental health challenges it has brought with this panel discussion between student ambassadors for youth mental health nonprofit Active Minds.
This on-demand webinar was joint-hosted by ASCA and the National Association of Elementary School Principals and features some straightforward collaborative approaches between school administrators and counselors to create safe learning environments for students of all backgrounds.
ASCA's on-demand webinar delves into how biases are formed, how they can lead to errors in multicultural counseling environments, and how they can be identified and reshaped for the good of marginalized students and the school community as a whole.
This online, self-paced training module from ASCA U is designed to help counselors understand the unique challenges of cross-cultural counseling and the importance of rising to meet those challenges in the counseling profession. ($99 member/$249 nonmember)
Formerly known as the National School Mental Health Curriculum, these downloadable modules are developed and distributed by the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) and the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC). These materials were developed to promote mental health awareness and provide a practical framework for the implementation of evidence-based mental health practices in schools.
Online communities and resources for students
MannMukti is a storytelling platform and website that seeks to de-stigmatize mental illness and facilitate discussions about mental health for South Asians and South Asian diaspora.
With the tagline "For native youth, by native youth", WeRNative is a comprehensive digital health resource for native and indigenous teens and young adults with a robust mental health focus.
The Asian Mental Health Collective's stated mission is to "normalize and destigmatize mental health within the Asian community" and provides resources for learning more about mental health concerns and conditions, a directory of AAPI mental health professionals, and experience sharing.
BLHF is a nonprofit organization founded by actress Taraji P. Henson and named for her father. It's a comprehensive digital resource and community for Black people of all ages, and offers scholarships for Black students who plan to pursue a career in mental health.
The Trevor project was founded in 1998 as a suicide-prevention resource for LGBTQ+ youth with the TrevorLifeline, which it still operates. It has also expanded to include text and chat resources and TrevorSpace, a safe social network for LGBTQ+ people and allies under 25.
SuperBetter is a science-backed, mental and emotional health game that has shown promise in helping to manage depressive and concussive symptoms. It's designed to help kids overcome adversity, develop a challenge mindset, and build resilience.
These are just a few resources that we hope educators, counselors, students, and their families can use to better understand the mental health needs of underrepresented students and work to meet them. We're not mental health experts, but we do believe that every student deserves an experience that empowers them, and we're dedicated to making the software that helps counselors and educators be a part of that. We hope something on this list will help, too.