National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM), which means it’s time to raise awareness regarding the unique mental health experiences and challenges that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States.
This initiative was inspired by the work of Bebe Moore Campbell, a Black author, journalist, and advocate. Campbell faced mental health challenges in her own family and witnessed the disparities in mental healthcare among minority communities. Campbell’s vision was to shed light on the mental health needs of marginalized populations and to encourage communities to rally together to support those affected. She worked tirelessly to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly within minority communities.
According to hhs.gov, “Racial and ethnic minorities often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to multiple factors, including lack of access to quality mental health care services, cultural stigma surrounding mental health care, discrimination, and overall lack of awareness about mental health.” National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month plays a crucial role in creating a dialogue to destigmatize mental health conversations, removing barriers to care, and enforcing equity and equality for access to mental healthcare.
The theme of the 2023 NMMHAM is Culture, Community, & Connection. These three pillars are crucial in supporting and uplifting BIPOC individuals in the face of oppression and systemic racism.
Visit Mental Health America to learn more and download the 2022 BIPOC toolkit, that has specific resources for each ethnicity. Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get your organization involved with their graphics and messaging toolkit.