Bebe Moore Campbell was a national change agent whose life work promoted increasing mental health information and services to underserved populations, primarily minority communities. In dedication to her work and to promote an increase in public awareness of the struggles in these communities, the U.S. House of Representatives dedicated July as Bebe More Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month.
National Minority Mental Health month focuses on improving access to mental health awareness,
treatment, and services within Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. These
communities are faced with unparalleled amounts of historical traumas and unique life experiences.
Additionally, these communities are underserved and underrepresented in the mental health treatment community.
Barriers for treatment within multicultural communities include lack of access to treatment,
transportation concerns, and long waitlists. Another barrier includes the mental health provider’s
understanding of the unique life experience and needs of a person in the BIPOC community. Even with telehealth options, there are barriers including low bandwidth for connectivity, access to technology, and access to privacy within the home space. People in the BIPOC community are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness and often receive poor quality mental health (and general health) care.
National Minority Mental Health Month also addresses the stigma of mental health in the BIPOC
communities. As strong stigmas already surround the people of these communities, BIPOC members are less likely to seek mental health help for themselves and family members. A concern for the community is that suppressing one’s mental health issues often leads to a wide range of detrimental outcomes.
If you are wondering what you can do to learn more about National Minority Mental Health Awareness month, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) are good places to start.
Always know that mental health concerns are normal. It is okay to not be okay. Reach out to Favored Wellness if you or a loved one needs support at firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 339-1782.
Written by: Karisa L. M. Sévère, LPC, NCC, CAADC