The Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness month was established in 2008 to raise public awareness of the discrepancy in access to resources for minority groups. The Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) mental health awareness month in July is dedicated to addressing the disparity in resources accessible to BIPOC communities. It’s also important to recognize that BIPOC only describes a very general group of communities.
Although having an honest, open communication with friends and family regarding mental health is a difficult challenge, it’s important to communicate with a trusted individual if you’re experiencing any mental health struggles. New Pathways for Youth wants to create a web of support surrounding our youth, and we encourage mentors and mentees to reach out immediately if they need help or mental health resources.
Our organization is dedicated to supporting the mental, emotional and physical well-being of everyone in our community. Please sign up for the full BIPOC mental health toolkit below to learn more about different communities, access specific mental health resources and calls to action.
Bebe Moore Campbell was an inspiring American journalist, teacher and mental health advocate who worked to bring awareness to the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented groups.
Over 19.86% or 50 million Americans are experiencing a mental illness (Adult Data, 2022). Given this information, it’s critical to acknowledge how the gap in mental health resources for minority groups can negatively impact hundreds of families in America.
Mental health organizations need to incorporate culturally adept mental health resources and proper training to all providers to better serve multiethnic individuals. Understanding tradition, customs and values should be considered when providing treatment and resources.
How This Impacts Youth
As it pertains to minority youth, they are less likely to receive care in school-based services and child welfare. Research has shown a huge gap in resources provided to minority youth compared to white youths. These mistreated and undertreated mental health conditions contribute to costly, disproportionate rates of mental healthy severity, burden and persistence as they become adults. These mental health care disparities among youth are a critical issue that warrants change. (Butler & Roger 2019).
About 50 to 70 percent of all youth in the juvenile justice system experience mental health issues that are undiagnosed, mistreated or badly treated (Rep. Wynn 2008). However, minority youths are less likely to be treated for substance abuse disorders, receive fewer resources than white youths in foster care and welfare programs, and minority youths in the mental health system are more likely than white youths to be referred to the juvenile justice system. (Dembo et. al 1998; Garland and Besinger 2005; Garland et al. 2005; Horwtiz et. al 2012; Evens and Vander Stoep 1997; Cauffman et al. 2005; Scott, Snowden, and Libby 2002; Vander Stoep, Evens, and Taub 1997).
Calls to Action
Mental Health America created a toolkit that describes the differences and uniqueness of different BIPOC communities and provides resources for each. This toolkit also has a worksheet that can help navigate conversations around mental health, and how to choose the correct health care.
The attached toolkit also provides multiple calls to action that can aid in making large-scale changes to the national disparity in health care resources. Here is a glimpse of included calls to action:
- Tell Congress to vote in favor of the Pursuing Equity Act, the Mental Health Services for Students Act, and the STANDUP Act.
- Send a letter to Congress in support of school-based mental health and suicide prevention education and services.
- Tell Congress to fully fund culturally and linguistically responsive crisis services and specialized supports within 988 for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.
- Send a letter to Congress in support of specialized crisis services for BIPOC and LGBTQ communities.
Full BIPOC Mental Health Toolkit
Adult data 2022. Mental Health America. (2022). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.mhanational.org/issues/2022/mental-health-america-adult-data#:~:text=Adult%20Prevalence%20of%20Mental%20Illness%20(AMI)%202022&text=19.86%25%20of%20adults%20are%20experiencing,experiencing%20a%20severe%20mental%20illness.
Bipoc Mental Health month. Mental Health America. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://mhanational.org/BIPOC-mental-health-month
Butler, A. M., & Rodgers, C. R. R. (2019, June 13). Developing a policy brief on child mental health disparities to promote strategies for advancing equity among racial/ethnic minority youth. Ethnicity & disease. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6604781/
Cauffman, Elizabeth, Sarah H. Scholle, Edward Mulvey, and Kelly J. Kelleher. 2005. “Predicting FirstTime Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System among Emotionally Disturbed Youth Receiving Mental Health Services.” Psychological Services 2(1):28–38.
Dembo, R., J. Schmeidler, James Schmeidler, Pollyanne Borden, Sue Camilla Chin, and Darrell Manning. 1998. “Use of the POSIT Among Arrested Youths Entering a Juvenile Assessment Center: A Replication and Update.” Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse 6(3):19–42.
Evens, Carina C., and Ann Vander Stoep. 1997. “Risk Factors for Juvenile Justice System Referral Among Children in a Public Mental Health System.” Journal of Mental Health Administration 24(4):443–55.
Garland, Ann F., Anna S. Lau, May Yeh, Kristen M. McCabe, Richard L. Hough, and John A. Landsverk. 2005. “Racial and Ethnic Differences in Utilization of Mental Health Services among High-Risk Youths.” American Journal of Psychiatry 162 (7):1336–43.
Garland, A. F., and B. A. Besinger 1997. “Racial/Ethnic Differences in Court Referred Pathways to Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care.” Children and Youth Services Review 19(8):65166.
Google. (2022). Beyond the Numbers. Google. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/adobe-acrobat-pdf-edit-co/efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj
Horwitz, Sarah McCue, Michael S. Hurlburt, Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert, Amy M. Heneghan, Jinjin Zhang, Jennifer RollsReutz, Emily Fisher, John Landsverk, and Ruth E.K. Stein. 2012. “Mental Health Services Use by Children Investigated by Child Welfare Agencies.” Pediatrics 130(5):86169.
Model Programs Guide: Literature Reviews. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (17AD). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/model-programs-guide/literature-reviews
Rep. Wynn, Albert Russell [D-MD-4] . (2008, May 21). Text – h.con.res.134 – 110th congress (2007-2008 … – library of Congress. Congress.gov. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/134/text
Scott, Michelle A., Lonnie Snowden, and Anne M. Libby. 2002. “From Mental Health to Juvenile Justice: What Factors Predict This Transition?” Journal of Child and Family Studies 11(3):299–311
Vander Stoep, Ann, Carina C. Evens, and Jennifer Taub. 1997. “Risk of Juvenile Justice System Referral among Children in a Public Mental Health System.” Journal of Mental Health Administration 24(4):428–42.