Did you know July is National Minority Mental Health Month? Yes, there is an entire month dedicated to educating, learning, and raising awareness about the unique mental health struggles faced by minorities within the United States.
While mental health struggles do not discriminate, a person’s upbringing, culture, ethnicity, and identity can impact their mental health and access to mental health care. We all know that access to high-quality mental health care should be a right for everyone. However, many minorities unjustly struggle to access proper mental health care for various reasons, including:
- Cultural incompetence
- Lower quality mental health care
- Insufficient access to mental health care
How National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month Began
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month started thanks to Bebe Moore Campbell. Bebe Moore Campbell was an African American author, journalist, and activist who fought tirelessly for a world where her daughter had access to the high-quality mental health care she needed and deserved.
As Bebe learned more about the accessibility of minority mental health, it became clear to her just how inaccessible proper care was for minorities in America. In July 2008, Bebe took her cause to the United States Congress, aiming to raise awareness about the mental health care disparities faced by minorities across the nation.
As Bebe addressed these disparities to Congress, she discussed her struggles in helping her daughter access the proper mental health care she needed and deserved. These struggles were and still are faced by minorities, impacting their ability to live high-quality lives.
Access to mental health care was not the only issue Bebe touched on in her address. She also covered the fear many minorities face when admitting they are struggling mentally. Many minorities already face discrimination and stereotypes in their everyday lives. This has left many minorities fearful to admit their mental health is struggling, as the stigma surrounding mental illness is still present today.
To help further Bebe’s hard work in raising awareness about minority mental health, the U.S. House of Representatives declared July National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
How You Can Get Involved
Mental health care and counseling should be accessible to every American, not only a select few. If this subject has lit a fire within your heart, we are here to help you join the cause. A few ways you can get help raise awareness about minority mental health include:
One of the most important things you can do to raise awareness about minority mental health is to educate yourself. Fortunately, there are tons of free, high-quality resources online you can learn from. Take some time to learn about the disparities faced by minorities in your community. This will give you a fantastic start in joining the cause.
Educate Your Community
Once you have educated yourself about minority mental health, be prepared to talk about it! You can open a discussion with your friends and family, share informative posts on your social media, or volunteer to speak to groups of people on the subject. The more people who know about the cause, the better!
Donate Your Time or Money to the Cause
Many organizations aim to educate, advocate, and make changes for minority mental health. Some of these organizations may need monetary donations. Others may need volunteers. Either way, you can find many options for making a difference.
Every last one of us deserves access to high-quality mental health care. Let’s continue to fight until this right is granted to us all.