On August 30th at 2:00 pm ET we’re co-hosting the webinar Why Mental Health Equity is Critical for Student Success in collaboration with The Steve Fund.

How can institutions meet the mental health and wellness needs of students who identify as BIPOC, neurodiverse, and/or LGBTQ+? With a new academic year beginning, institutions need to rethink their approach to mental health equity and consider ways to better support their unique student body. 

Addressing stigma, breaking down the silos that exist across campus, and removing barriers to care is just the beginning. Institutions should consider the needs of their students before they arrive on campus and how best to serve them across the duration of their college journey. 

Mantra Health, in partnership with the Steve Fund, are bringing together three experts in the field who have worked on the ground in their campus communities to advance mental health equity and change the way higher education approaches mental well-being. These leaders will discuss:

  • What mental health equity work entails and how it’s changing 
  • Why a systemic approach is critical to addressing student well-being 
  • How to properly train campus stakeholders on DEI initiatives 
  • How to assess existing needs and build better programs for traditionally underserved student populations 

Mental health equity isn’t going to be achieved overnight, even on the most well-equipped campuses, but with the right systems and processes in place, institutions can better support their students and promote better outcomes, leading to greater student success. 


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Hosted by:

Mantra Health and the Steve Fund, the nation's leading organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.

The Steve Fund promotes the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people of color as they transition from adolescence into higher education, throughout their higher education experience, and as they transition into the workforce so they can attain personal, academic, and career success and achieve their full potential. The Steve Fund works with colleges and universities, nonprofits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental health of the nation’s young people of color.

About Our Speakers

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Shawnté Elbert, EdD, CWHC, MCHES®: Chief Health Equity Officer at Columbus Public Health

Dr. Elbert is a trailblazing figure in the realm of college health and wellness, having dedicated 18 years of her life to the betterment of student well-being and success. Starting as a health educator, she ascended the ranks to become a revered senior administrator, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of higher education. She is the inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer for Columbus Public Health, where she leads the team for the Center for Public Health Innovation.

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Swapna Hingwe, MA, DO: Associate Director of Counseling and Psychiatric Services and Director of Psychiatry at Michigan State University 

Dr. Hingwe has served as a psychiatrist on MSU's campus since 2007. She currently serves as the Associate Director of CAPS and the Director of Psychiatry at CAPS. Swapna completed her undergraduate, master's degree, medical school (MSUCOM) and psychiatry residency training at MSU. Her work centers around mental health equity for historically marginalized student populations on campus, integrative and intersectional psychiatry and eating disorders. She specializes in working with students of color, international students and LGBTQIA+ students. In 2021, she published a book chapter entitled: Mental Health Considerations for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color: Trends, Barriers, and Recommendations for Collegiate Mental Health. She also serves as a campus coach for the Equity in Mental Health on Campus initiative supported by the Steve Fund. 

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Sherrá Watkins PhD, LCMHC-S, LCAS, CRC, CCS, Associate Vice President of Student Health & Wellness at University of Utah

Dr. Watkins is a distinguished clinical psychotherapist, certified coach, and expert in the field of mental health and wellness. Dr. Watkins' expertise encompasses public health, mental health, rehabilitation and substance use counseling. Currently serving as the Associate Vice President of Student Health and Wellness at the esteemed University of Utah, Dr. Watkins is dedicated to transforming systems that hinder marginalized populations from accessing crucial counseling and addiction services. She ardently believes in empowering individuals from all walks of life to enhance their overall well-being and embark on a journey of emotional healing.