Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is recognized nationwide to bring understanding of the mental health needs and experiences within BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, and others who face disproportionate inequities in care, support or mental health services in this country. Systemic racism and historical barriers and inequities have left particular ethnic, racial and minoritized populations facing trauma, loss, bias, social disparities and other unique challenges that have gone unsupported and largely unaddressed. We at AFSP are committed to rectifying this by working with diverse communities, organizations and policy makers to ensure that mental health resources that are culturally relevant are equitably available across the nation.
The History of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
On June 2, 2008, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was formally recognized by Congress “to enhance public awareness of mental illness, especially within minority communities” in the U.S. Campbell was an author, journalist and teacher, and she worked tirelessly as a mental health advocate to support the mental health needs of underrepresented communities. Campbell also founded NAMI-Inglewood in a predominantly Black neighborhood to create a space that was safe for Black people to talk about mental health concerns.
AFSP will dedicate the month of July to shining a light on the voices, needs and resources for underrepresented groups regarding mental health and suicide prevention in the U.S. We acknowledge that institutional racism, structural inequalities and unconscious bias impact the daily lives of people of color. As an organization, we are committed to addressing the disparities in mental healthcare access and advocating for new legislation that puts an end to disparities and stimulates new suicide prevention research. It’s imperative that we improve access to culturally informed, evidence-based quality mental health care.
We hope you’ll join us in raising awareness of this vital issue and supporting #MentalHealth4All. We encourage you to keep checking our national calendar for upcoming events, including the latest installment of our “Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change” Town Hall series, and more.