Josephine Kim, lecturer on education, prevention science and practice/CAS in counseling programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, listed some examples of structural racism.

“Students of color don’t see themselves reflected on the walls they have to navigate, in the curriculum, in the authors who wrote the materials they have to read for class … and the food that’s in the cafeteria,” Kim said. Such experiences “point to a lack of inclusion and pose a threat to [their] mental health.” those students.

Implicit or unconscious bias, microaggressions, and stereotyping are other contributors, Kim said. Another is social exclusion, including those who “stay silent” for the sake of others.

“That absence of helping is the new discrimination,” she said.

Kumar said investing more in support services is one way institutions can support the mental health needs of students of color. She also recommended offering options for students needing services, creating a campus-wide network to support them, and creating “adequate messaging” to let students know how to seek help.

Chavous said faculty members can be part of the solution if institutions better educate them about “the role they play in creating a more inclusive environment” and about the services to which they can steer students. Institutions can also support and incentivize faculty who engage with the issue, she said.

“I think part of it is making sure that it’s not stigmatized to seek help for mental health and well-being,” Krislov said. Also important, he said, is ensuring “the institution embraces the notion that supporting students’ mental health is part of our mission … part of what we give to the community.”