“Once my loved ones accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years. Can’t we, as a nation, begin to speed up that process? We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans…It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.” -Bebe Moore Campbell
The month of July is Black, Indigenous, People of Color Mental Health Awareness Month (BIPOC MHAM). For this month, we want to honor Bebe Moore Campbell who made this all happen.
Bebe Moore Campbell (1950-2006) was a Black American author, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles, a national spokesperson, a journalist, teacher, and a mental health advocate who was passionate about learning, researching, and sharing the mental health needs of the Black community and underrepresented communities. At age 56, she passed away due to having brain cancer. To recognize her legacy and honor her, The U.S. House of Representatives designated July as “Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.”
For this month, we also encourage you to participate in the BIPOC MHAM. It serves to shed a light on the health disparities, bring awareness to mental illnesses, and stress the need to improve access to mental health treatment within underrepresented communities, such as Black/African Americans.
For many centuries, BIPOC individuals have experienced trauma in all aspects of their lives. BIPOC individuals are less likely to have access to health services and receive care. There are also more likely to receive poor quality health services and to end health services prematurely.
We must #TakeCareDePaul by working with one another to dismantle systems that perpetuate discrimination, work against health equity, and places blame on BIPOC communities. Learn more at mhanational. org/july.
How Can You Support?
- Research about the health disparities in Black, Indigenous and POC communities
- Spread awareness about the health disparities in Black, Indigenous and POC communities with your friends and family
- Enhance public awareness of mental health and mental illness in BIPOC communities
- Support BIPOC communities who do not have access to health care
- Use and/or share Mental Health America’s Tools 2 Thrive, which is located in their toolkit, that serves to help better equip BIPOC communities to address their mental health.
For additional education and resources, please feel free to check out Mental Health America’s 2020 Campaign for BIPOC MHAM. #BIPOCmentalhealthmonth
Take Care DePaul!