Mental Health Resources for Alumni

The National KIPP Alumni Network is committed to making mental health support more accessible, starting with free culturally competent therapy and other mental health resources during COVID-19.

Access Free Culturally-Competent Therapy

KIPP is partnering with AYANA therapy to provide weekly counseling sessions for KIPP alumni for up to 6 months. AYANA offers clinical 1:1 counseling specifically focused on marginalized and intersectional communities. Participation is confidential.

Fill Out the Confidential Enrollment Form

Ayana Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ayana therapy is an organization committed to providing online mental health therapy for marginalized and intersectional communities and is grounded in the belief that finding the ideal therapist is a right, not a privilege.  You can read more about Ayana here: https://www.ayanatherapy.com/ 

  • KIPP is excited to announce a new partnership with Ayana Therapy due to their commitment to providing online mental health therapy for marginalized and intersectional communities They strive to address the strong lack of engagement between minorities and the mental health care industry which arises as a result of cost, stigma, and lack of cultural competency. They achieve this by matching users with licensed professionals that share their unique traits, values and sensibilities. 

  • We encourage any KIPP alum who is curious about mental health support to sign up and use Ayana for free.  We do not support the idea that a person needs to be “really sick” in order to seek out mental health support. If you are in any way interested, please sign up!  We also encourage alumni to sign up even if you are not sure for how long you are able to participate. Remember this is free to all KIPP alumni.

    Sign up now

    1. First, you need to sign up by filling out the confidential enrollment form (go here to sign up: *LINK*) – all information shared below here will be private and confidential. It will not be shared with your KIPP region.   
    2. In 48 hours, alums will receive the first email titled “Ayana Therapy User Info” from Ayana with a link to register your email with the code provided 
    3. You will then receive a second email titled “Ayana Admin” from Ayana which provides log-in credentials to access the platform.  
    4. Download the app onto your phone 
    5. Through the Ayana app, you will fill out a questionnaire focused on ethnicity, gender, orientation, religion, and specialties to identify the specific needs of each user and ideal counseling match. 
    6. You get matched with Ayana counselor(s) and pick out the best one that fits your schedule. 
    7. Start communicating with your Ayana counselor by booking an appointment. 
  • Therapy with Ayana consists of weekly 30-minute virtual therapy sessions with your therapist for up to six-months. For booking appointments, therapists need up to 48 hours’ notice in advance- it is not an on-call service and depends on prior clients, etc. 

  • Once you are matched with a counselor, you will be able to use the app to begin communicating with your therapist. There, you can engage in virtual therapy meaning text messages, phone calls, as well as video sessions with your therapist.  

  • Text sessions means you are able to text with your therapist without being charged for any number of communications. They won’t be available for emergency situations on call, but each therapist will discuss individually based on client. They will not be available around the clock and will traditionally fall within normal waking hours, etc. 

  • After you finish the intake questions on Ayana, you are then matched with recommended counselor(s). You are then able to read their bio and choose. If for some reason, you feel it isn’t a good fit, you can always request a new counselor.   

    Counselors at AYANA are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). All of them have a master’s degree or a doctorate degree in their field. They have been qualified and certified by their state’s professional board after successfully completing the necessary education, exams, training, and practice. While their experience, expertise and background vary, they all possess at least 3 years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience. To learn more about some of the counselors, please visit: www.ayanatherapy.com/our-therapists 

  • Nicole Kabalkin, a KIPP NYC clinical social worker will be overseeing this program. Please don’t hesitate to contact her at Nkabalkin@kippnyc.org if you have any questions or concerns. One of the reasons we partnered with Ayana was to ensure that engaging with therapy is as accessible as possible. E-mail Nicole at any time and know that she is here to support you each step of the way. 

  • It’s okay if you are new to therapy and just want to see what Ayana is about. We encourage any KIPP alum who is curious about mental health support to sign up and use Ayana for free.  We do not support the idea that a person needs to be “really sick” in order to seek out mental health support. If you are in any way interested, please sign up!  We also encourage alumni to sign up even if you are not sure for how long you are able to participate. Remember this is free to all KIPP alumni. 

    Sign up now

  • If you haven’t received an email from Ayana after 48 hours, please check your spam box or junk box first.  

    After checking, please send an email to Nicole Kabalkin, a KIPP NYC clinical social worker, who will be overseeing this program. Please don’t hesitate to contact her at Nkabalkin@kippnyc.org if you have any questions or concerns.  

  • For technical issues about the Ayana app, please reach out directly to Ayana at erin@ayanatherapy.com. 

    In order to address your technical issues, Ayana will need to know the following: 

    1. What version of the app is the user having (number listed at bottom of the app, helps us know if they have the newest release or not)? 
    2. What type of phone device do you have?  
    3. If you have an Android, what type of Android OS are you using? 
  • If you have any concerns or questions about the therapy you are receiving from Ayana, please don’t hesitate to contact Nicole Kabalkin at Nkabalkin@kippnyc.orgOne of the reasons we partnered with Ayana was to ensure that engaging with therapy is as accessible as possible. E-mail Nicole at any time and know that she is here to support you each step of the way. 

  • Yes, Ayana offers family therapy. You will need to indicate your need for that service as you fill out Ayana’s culturally sensitive questionnaire.  

Additional Mental Health Resources

KIPP has a code for Crises Textline. Text EASE to 741741 to reach a crises counselor. Mental Health Resource Library Coming Soon!