CHC and the Steve Fund Partner to Address Nation’s Growing Mental Health Equity Crisis

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CHC: Creating Healthier Communities and the Steve Fund join forces to promote mental health equity, increase awareness, and expand support for young people of color

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“We are losing far too many of our young people, especially those representing Black and Brown communities,” said Valerie Rochester, chief health equity officer at CHC.

Today, CHC: Creating Healthier Communities and the Steve Fund announced a new partnership to promote equity and address the country’s mental health crisis. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, mental health challenges are the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people. Unfortunately, in recent years, the country has seen significant increases in mental health disorders in youth.

“We are losing far too many of our young people, especially those representing Black and Brown communities, due to limited awareness and lack of tailored responses to address their specific needs, issues and concerns,” said Valerie Rochester, chief health equity officer at CHC. “The Steve Fund provides mental health resources and research to support both institutions and young people of color themselves.”

To raise awareness and resources for mental health equity, CHC will include the Steve Fund as a national workplace giving partner in hundreds of campaigns, create a customized “Mental Health Equity” cause fund to build capacity for organizations providing youth mental health equity services, and promote mental health equity to its network of thousands of private and public sector partners.

“As the nation’s leading organization focused on mental health and wellbeing for young people of color, the Steve Fund has a strong track record and unique resources,” said Thomas G. Bognanno, president and CEO at CHC. “We’re proud to partner with the Steve Fund in a shared commitment to advance equitable approaches to improving health across all communities.”

In 2022, the U.S. Surgeon General declared a public health crisis in mental health due to significant increases in youth depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety and stress. Young people of color are facing additional challenges, academically, emotionally, and in some cases more serious risks, not just due to biological factors but also social and environmental factors, including substance abuse, economic and other inequities, discrimination, bullying, adverse child experiences, trauma, violence and toxic stress. Black children are now nearly twice as likely to die by suicide than other children.

“Partnerships are key to helping the Steve Fund get critical mental health resources into the hands of the young people and communities that need them most,” said Evan Rose, co-founder and president of the Board of the Steve Fund. “We are partnering with CHC because the organization has worked diligently to remove barriers to good health and equity for communities of color. We look forward to working with CHC to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of young people of color.”

To support Mental Health Equity, visit:

CHC: Creating Healthier Communities brings nonprofits, businesses, and communities together around a shared commitment to health equity and wellbeing. For more than 65 years, CHC has worked with partners to address the barriers to good health and equity and create resilient communities where everyone can thrive. CHC’s role is to advance equity, enhance the capacity of nonprofit organizations, connect and convene diverse stakeholders, and harness collective resources and programs to activate collaborations that address root causes, increase impact, and improve the health of our communities. Join us at or @chcimpact.

About The Steve Fund
The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. The Steve Fund works with higher education, nonprofits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s young people of color. Learn more:

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Amanda Ponzar
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