About Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
“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, 2005
In May of 2008, the US House of Representatives announce July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD) and cosponsored by a large bipartisan group to achieve two goals:
- Improve access to mental health treatment and services and promote public awareness of mental illness.
- Name a month as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.
About Bebe Moore Campbell
Bebe Moore Campbell was an author, advocate, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles and national spokesperson, who worked tirelessly to advocate for mental health education and eliminate stigma among diverse communities, until she passed away in 2006. In 2005, inspired by Campbell’s charge to end stigma and provide mental health information, longtime friend Linda Wharton-Boyd suggested dedicating a month to the effort. The duo got to work, outlining the concept of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and what it would entail. After Campbell’s passing, Wharton-Boyd, friends, family and allied advocates reignited their cause. In 2008, July was designated as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by the U.S. House of Representatives. There have been recent attempts to change the month’s name, but NAMI continues to recognize the importance of honoring Bebe Moore Campbell’s incredible legacy and groundbreaking work.
Video: Nancy Carter of NAMI Urban Los Angeles
NAMI Urban Los Angeles co-founder Nancy Carter discusses her work with Bebe Moore Campbell to bring mental health awareness to the black community, the origins of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and her personal mental health journey as a peer and family member.
Mental Health and African American Communities
Racism is a public health crisis. Persisting disparities in health outcomes and access to mental health care in underserved communities show that reality. While all of our communities face mental health challenges, African American communities often deal with more stigma and discrimination, and can receive compromised care.Find out more