July is Minority Mental Health Month, or more accurately, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, named after Campbell, an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed each July since 2008, and was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the United States.
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. But mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. It is hoped that Minority Mental Health Awareness Month can start changing this.
Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage and the stigma of mental illness requires all of us. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care.
So, for 2021’s Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) will continue to amplify the message of “You Are Not Alone.” NAMI will use this time to focus on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health and acknowledging that it’s OK to not be OK through blogs, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements and national events.
Together, we can realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness — no matter their background, culture, ethnicity or identity — can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives — a nation where no one feels alone in their struggle.
You can help spread the word about minority mental health through awareness, support and advocacy activities. Share awareness information, images and graphics throughout July and use the hashtags #NotAlone and #MMHAM when you’re posting on social media.
America’s entire mental health system needs improvement, including when it comes to serving marginalized communities.
To learn more about how you can get involved with minority mental health, go to: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/July-2018/Getting-Involved-with-Minority-Mental-Health.