As we do every year for Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month, we share resources for diverse and historically underrepresented communities and seek to elevate the voices of community members. Here is NAMI’s press release for this year’s awareness month.
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.
“Once my loved ones accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years… It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible,” said Bebe Moore Campbell when she was advocating to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.
Observing Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month
Together, we can raise more mental health awareness in underrepresented populations so they can get the mental health care they need to overcome obstacles and live healthy, fulfilling lives in a community that cares.
Here’s how you can honor Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month:
Watch the video replay of the presentation by NAMI CA Board Secretary Dr. Jei Africa, “Why We Should Bring Conversations About Race and Racism to the Table,” from our 2020 Multicultural Symposium; jump to 21:00 for the presentation.
Racism is a public health crisis. Persisting disparities in health outcomes and access to mental health care in underserved communities show that reality. “The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real. It is essential for culture and identity to be a part of the mental health care conversation,” said Daniel H. Gillison Jr., NAMI’s CEO. “We’re all dealing with change, uncertainty, and mental health challenges and need to accept that mental health vulnerabilities do not discriminate, and neither should our mental health care system. We are calling for improved access to quality, culturally-competent care and advocating for systematic change to the mental health care infrastructure.”
Skip to 21:14 for the “Why We Should Bring Conversations about Race and Racism to the Table” presentation by NAMI CA board member Jei Africa at our 2020 Multicultural Symposium.