National Minority Mental Health Month is observed in July as a nationwide effort developed by Mental Health America. It hopes to bring to attention the multitude of mental health experiences within BIPOC communities. The month also takes into consideration the unfair inequities such as systemic and historical barriers that negatively impact a person’s mental health. The concerns and traumas faced by the marginalized, oppressed, and disenfranchised people are unique and need to be addressed as such. It is important to have professional and empathetic mental health caregivers to help overcome mental health issues and faulty diagnoses.
History of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Bebe Moore Campbell was the driving force behind National Minority Health Awareness Month. She was an author, advocate, co-founder of the National Alliance of Mental Illness, Urban Los Angeles who actively campaigned for mental health education and improving mental healthcare facilities in impoverished communities. In 2005, Campbell and her friend, Linda Wharton-Boyd decided it was time to end stigma and make mental health facilities accessible for everyone. Wharton-Boyd suggested dedicating a month to the effort. The two friends worked together to develop the concept of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and what it would entail. The Department of Mental Health stepped in and Anthony Williams held a news conference to encourage residents to get mental health checkups.
The importance of the month was quickly realized and people started to join the cause wholeheartedly. The two of them held book signings, spoke in churches, and created a National Minority Mental Health Taskforce of healthcare workers, patients, friends, and allies. However, the efforts came to a standstill when Campbell was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away soon after but Wharton-Boyd and other advocates for National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month reignited their cause. It was decided that Campbell’s efforts would not go in vain. The group researched and obtained the support of Representatives Albert Wynn and Diane Watson who signed legislation to create an official National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2006.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month timeline
Mental health illness is first recorded in Ancient China.
The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud is born in the Czech Republic.
Psychoanalysis is developed to understand mental disorders.
The first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) comes into existence.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month FAQs
What is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month?
Minority Mental Health Month is a nationwide effort developed by Mental Health America to recognize mental health issues in disadvantaged communities.
Is July National Minority Mental Health Month?
Yes, July is observed as the National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
Who started National Minority Mental Health Month?
Bebe Moore Campbel, the co-founder of NAMI, started National Minority Mental Health Month.
How to Observe National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Help someone in need
If you feel someone needs mental health care and attention, encourage them to seek help from professionals. You can send resources their way.
Donate and volunteer
Mental healthcare facilities in minority communities are always in need of funds and volunteers. You can donate money or even volunteer your time to help out.
Empathy and kindness go a long way in helping those with mental illnesses. Lend an ear to a friend and let them know that you care about their well-being.
5 Facts About The Brain That Will Blow Your Mind
Brain surgeries aren’t very new
In fact, the first recorded brain surgery happened during the Stone Age.
Brains shrink in size
As we get older, our brains tend to get smaller with age. This usually happens after middle age.
The brain needs a lot of energy
Our brains consume almost 20% of the body’s total oxygen and blood supply.
Brains are quite heavy
The human brain, on average, weighs three pounds.
The brain is divided into three parts
The three major parts of the brain are the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem.
Why National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is Important
It saves lives
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month saves hundreds of vulnerable lives every year with timely help and a supportive network of allies.
Makes the world a better place
This initiative was started with the genuine hope of making the world a better and more inclusive place for everyone, especially those who have been historically neglected.
It destigmatizes mental health issues
There’s a lot of prejudice and stigma surrounding mental health issues. This month aims to fight misinformation so that those who are struggling don’t feel left out.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month dates