NBA stars are celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by assisting Black students interested in study matters related to mental health. This week, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony announced that they had partnered with Bold.org to launch a $10,000 scholarship fund for Black students studying mental health. Through this effort, two talented students will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.
“The magnitude of racial inequality is staggering with Black lives socially, politically, and economically marginalized. We are committed to supporting organizations that directly represent and benefit the Black community with the Social Change Fund," Wade said.
"Our goal is to create a pathway for inclusion and success by deploying the necessary funds and resources to invest in long-term change.”
Providing pathways for Black students to study matters related to mental health is more important now than ever. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Andrew Brown Jr., Ma'Khia Bryant and so many others have dramatically increase anxiety and depression within the Black community. In fact, U.S. Census Bureau data found that 22% more Black Americans experienced depression following the murder of George Floyd. Unfortunately, Black Americans rarely have Black therapists and mental health professionals to speak to. As indicated by Bold.org and the Social Change Fund, less than 5% of therapists are Black.
“We need more professionals in this space that look like us in order to continue to break the stigmas around mental health in the Black community,” Paul said.
“Through the work the Social Change Fund United does, we are committed to contributing to changing the narrative.”
Students interested in applying for the Social Change Fund and Bold.org scholarship can do so through their official website today. The scholarship sponsors asks students the following two questions:
- What is your utopian vision for optimal mental health in the Black community?
- How can mental health care and advocacy help achieve social justice for communities of color?
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